A new poll from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling shows that Gov. Jay Nixon continues to hold a big lead over his two main Republican opponents. However, that lead has slipped in recent months.
The poll shows Nixon, a Democrat, leading businessman Dave Spence by 11 percentage points, 45-34, down from a 20 point lead the last time PPP polled the race in January. He leads attorney Bill Randles by 14 percentage points, 46-32, down from 18 points previously.
Nixon's approval rating stands at 46 percent, with a 29 percent disapproval rating. Both of those figures have improved since February.
Public Policy Polling's poll from nearly the same period four years ago showed Nixon with a 10 percentage point lead over Republican Kenny Hulshof, 47-37. Nixon went on to win that race by 20 percentage points in November.
“Jay Nixon remains a clear favorite for reelection but it’s unlikely he’ll be able to match his 20 point margin of victory from 2008,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling.
Polling shows Republicans are also beginning to unify behind Spence, a big reason for Nixon's margin slipping. Spence is now the clear favorite to win his party's nomination in August, besting Randles 32-11, with 43 percent still undecided.
In January, Randles led Spence 15-12, with 74 percent undecided.
Public Policy Polling surveyed 602 Missouri voters by phone, including an oversample of 430 Republican primary voters, from May 24 to 27. The margin of error for the overall survey is 4 percent.
Full results of the poll can be found here (pdf).