Toplines – http://harperpolling.com/docs/default-source/default-document-library/hp-14-05-ms-primary-toplines.pdf?
As Election Day approaches, there is reason for hope and fear with both campaigns in the Mississippi Senate Republican primary election.
On the positive side of the ledger for Senator Thad Cochran, he maintains a lead just beyond the margin of error, his image with Republican voters is a net +16%, and 89% of voters have heard about the incident involving the photographing of the Senator’s wife.
However, he is an incumbent under 50%, the photograph issue is not turning many voters against McDaniel who weren’t already there, and he is under performing his favorable image rating (52%) by 7% on the ballot (45%).
The McDaniel campaign has not persuaded voters to dislike Cochran, but the argument for a fresh start is proving compelling. Compelling enough for voters who are in fact fond of the 6-term Senator to give serious consideration to bringing him home.
Chris McDaniel is bloody and bruised but still standing. His image rating is approaching 1-to-1 and the flow of the campaign messages in the race is giving voters a worsening opinion of McDaniel (37% favorable to 50% unfavorable). But it appears that the mission for McDaniel is merely to stay viable as an alternative to the long-time incumbent.
The race appears to be a referendum not on any perceived misdeeds of Thad Cochran but rather a more general desire for change in leadership in Mississippi.
Harper Polling Group