Poll shows GOP's Barbour leading in Miss.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Half of Mississippi's likely voters are backing Republican Haley Barbour going in to next Tuesday's gubernatorial election, according to a new poll.

The Ipsos-Public Affairs poll, the first public survey in many months, has Barbour with a 50-to-45 percent lead over Democrat Ronnie Musgrove, just outside the poll's 4 percent margin of error.


Private polls conducted as recently as a week ago had support for both Barbour and Musgrove somewhere in the low-to-mid 40s.

The survey of 623 likely voters found Barbour with a commanding 57 percent to 38 percent lead among men while Musgrove enjoyed a 51 percent to 43 percent edge among women.

The poll shows Barbour rates higher on improving Mississippi's economy, cracking down on crime and drugs and representing Mississippi values. Musgrove has a slight edge in improving education and protecting the environment. Voters are split on which candidate would do a better job standing up to special interests.

The poll, conducted Oct. 21-23 for the Jackson, Miss., Clarion-Ledger newspaper, suggest that one of every four likely voters who backed Musgrove in 1999 have now thrown their support to Barbour, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee.


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