Latest poll shows Tate Reeves leading Brandon Presley by 11 points

Published: Sep. 4, 2023 at 7:20 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -The general election is two months away, but multiple polls are being released as the campaigns keep heating up.

The latest Mississippi Today and Siena College paints a similar picture as their January and April polls, with Tate Reeves leading. But it went from a four-point lead at the start of the year to an 11-point lead in the last two polls.

“For a lot of people again, you know, they’re getting confirmation bias. In other words, they’re hearing the things that already support their point of view,” noted Mississippi College political science professor Dr. Glenn Antizzo.

Drilling down into the results, Mississippi College political science professor Dr. Glenn Antizzo notes it’s not all positive for Reeves. The numbers showed nearly half of those polled viewed him negatively. As for Presley, he still has work to be done on name recognition.

“If you look a little deeper at the poll, you know Presley’s positions, connect well with people in the state,” said Antizoo. “However, Reeves is benefiting from that team dynamic that I’ve talked about earlier, where people are pretty much going to stick with their guy, their team.”

Antizzo thinks that while some people may like what Presley’s saying, they think it could come at a cost, noting that Reeves has really drilled the idea of tying Presley to the national Democratic Party. But he thinks there’s time for a shift in strategy.

“If he can sort of pivot and take a more upbeat messaging, ‘It’s a new day in Mississippi,’” he said of Presley. “I’m not your typical Democrat....Let the PACs do the dirty work. Let them hit the heavy shots.”

Here’s how the campaigns are responding.

“Even from a leftwing pollster commissioned by a dark-money democrat group, the data shows Governor Reeves has a commanding lead over Brandon Presley in this race. Governor Reeves’ strong record of delivering economic and education wins, cutting taxes, and increasing public safety is in direct contrast with Brandon Presley’s Support of bigger government, experimental sex changes on children, and taking money and counsel from California and New York Democrats. Mississippians are fired up to re-elect Tate Reeves in November and keep the Mississippi momentum going,” said Reeves campaign manager Elliott Husbands.

“This race is neck-and-neck because Brandon is focused on cleaning up corruption and saving rural hospitals while Tate Reeves’ approval remains upside-down, and his role in the largest public corruption scandal in state history grows clearer by the day,” said Presley communications director Michael Beyer.

Antizzo also noted that Reeves won by a 5 percent margin in 2019, less than the usual split between Republicans and Democrats in Mississippi. He says that shows he does have some vulnerabilities.

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