It’s still early, but there are already three public polls looking ahead to likely Governor’s race match-up

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 7:51 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -You’ll cast your ballot this year for statewide elections. However, the early polls are jumping past the primaries, and they’re going straight to the anticipated general election match-up for governor between Tate Reeves and Brandon Presley.

The earliest you could see Tate Reeves and Brandon Presley’s names on the same ballot is the November general election. So, when it comes to polls:

“It’s very early in the game,” said Mississippi College Political Science Professor Dr. Glenn J. Antizzo. “And I think right now, you need to take whatever you’re seeing with a grain of salt.”

Numbers we have seen so far? The Mississippi Today/Siena poll released in January, just a week after Brandon Presley launched his campaign, showed Tate Reeves with a four-point lead. A month later, the tables turned, and Presley took the lead in a Southern Poverty Law Center and Tulchin Research poll. The latest poll from Magnolia Tribune and Mason-Dixon more closely reflects the January poll but this time with Reeves 7 points ahead of Presley. Political science professors looking at all three polls:

“I think that people do know who the Governor is, for the most part, and so they have some opinions that have crystallized to an extent they don’t really know as much about Presley,” said Antizzo. “And so Presley is getting a little bit of a benefit of the doubt.”

Still, when you look at the three polls side-by-side, you see Reeves polling within three percentage points in every poll but not passing the 50% threshold.

“I think it does show from what I’ve seen so far that that Tate Reeves is vulnerable,” explained Dr. Ray Mikell, Jackson State University Assistant Professor of Political Science. “That doesn’t mean, of course, he’s going to lose. It’s still too early, but it does show some vulnerability.”

These early polls may do less for you and more for those tied to campaigns.

“Democrats nationally will be watching these poll numbers and deciding whether or not they want to put money into Mississippi or whether they think the money can be better spent in other states where they have more competitive races,” added Antizzo.

No matter the poll numbers, Dr. Mikell makes this note.

“I expect it to come down to that the economic issues and corruption, you know, public corruption versus cultural issues was what’s going to be, that’s what you’re going to hear the most of,” said Mikell.

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