Republican Roger Wicker, appointed to the Senate last year when Trent Lott resigned, has opened an 11-point lead over Democratic challenger Ronnie Musgrove in Mississippi.
The latest Rasmussen Reports poll of the state finds Wicker leading his opponent 54% to 43% in the state’s special Senate race.
At the end of September, Wicker slipped to a two-point advantage over Musgrove. The race was also tight in May and June, but Wicker had begun pulling away over the summer. In August he led 47% to 42%.
Mississippi is in the unusual position of having two U.S. Senate races this year due to Lott’s retirement. In December, Governor Haley Barbour named Wicker to Lott’s seat until a special election could be held. In the other Mississippi Senate race, longtime Republican incumbent Thad Cochran enjoys a sizable lead.
Wicker has opened a huge 66% to 19% lead among unaffiliated voters in Mississippi, compared to the 52% to 40% lead he held in September. While the Republican still holds a double-digit lead among men in the state, women have shifted from supporting Musgrove to Wicker’s column. Last month, women supported the challenger 54% to 42%; the latest poll show women favoring Wicker 50% to 47%. White voters support Wicker by a 78% to 18% margin, while black voters favor Musgrove, 87% to 12%.
Wicker, a congressman for 12 years, is viewed favorably by 59% of the state’s voters, unfavorably by 36%. Musgrove, a former governor, has 47% favorables and 50% unfavorables. While Wicker’s ratings are identical to the last poll’s, Musgrove’s have grown slightly more negative.