Palazzo pollster says the South Mississippi incumbent starts the re-election campaign with 65% of the vote.

An internal polling memo obtained by Y’all Politics for the Steven Palazzo campaign from Republican pollster Glen Bolger shows the South Mississippi Congressman with a substantial lead heading into the 4th Congressional District GOP primary in June.

MS04 Memo Palazzo by yallpolitics on Scribd

The poll from Public Opinion Strategies was conducted between December 11-14, 2021, and was released to the Palazzo campaign on January 13th. Bolger is a nationally known Republican pollster who has regularly polled in Mississippi.

Of the 400 interviews conducted of likely Republican voters in the 4th District, Palazzo has a 98% name ID and over two-thirds of voters (67%) are favorable to him.

Palazzo again faces a crowded field in the 2022 midterm Republican primary. Four candidates have already qualified to challenge the incumbent. They are Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell, State Senator Brice Wiggins, Clay Wagner, and Raymond Brooks. Others have expressed an interest in running but have yet to file their qualifying papers. One of those is Carl Boyanton who ran against Palazzo in 2020.

The Palazzo campaign polling memo shows that Ezell is the only candidate among the challengers who have any significant name ID in the 4th District, pulling in 53% and gaining 17% favorability among respondents.

Wiggins and Wagner were the only other candidates above 20% name ID, with the State Senator at 27% and the former Coast banker at 22%. Wiggins’ favorability was reported at 11% with Wagner’s at 4%.

As for voters’ preferences early in this race, Congressman Palazzo appears to be in solid shape, according to his pollster.

“Congressman Palazzo starts the race out with a whopping 65% of the vote. No other candidate even eclipses the double-digit mark. Mike Ezell is the closest, checking in at 8% of the vote. Wiggins pulls in 4%, Wagner sits at 2%, and Boyanton and Brooks both get 1% of the vote respectively,” the internal memo states. “The combined support for the five candidates is just 16%. With one-fifth of the vote left undecided, it will be difficult for any primary challenger to climb their way into this race.”

The internal polling concludes by stating that the incumbent Congressman is well-positioned to win re-nomination as the Republican candidate in the 4th District.

“Running a solid campaign should result in the Congressman winning the Republican
nomination without a runoff,” the memo adds.

If that is the case, Palazzo would have achieved that feat twice in two years. In the 2020 election, he faced three challengers in the GOP primary with Boyanton among the lot. Palazzo won the primary outright without a runoff by winning nearly 67% of the vote.

The deadline to qualify for Mississippi’s Congressional races in the 2022 midterms is March 1st.