Poll shows Nixon ahead of Republicans in Mo. gov. race

Monday, July 14, 2008

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A poll shows U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof with an apparent lead over Treasurer Sarah Steelman in Missouri's Republican gubernatorial primary.

But the poll shows both candidates trailing Democratic Attorney General Jay Nixon in the November general election.

The telephone poll conducted by Research 2000 last week for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and television station KMOV. The portion focusing only on the Republican primary surveyed 500 likely Republican voters. The portion focusing on the general election surveyed 800 likely voters.

In the Republican primary, Hulshof received the support of 32 percent of those surveyed, compared with 24 percent for Steelman and 17 percent for other candidates. Twenty-seven percent of those surveyed said they were undecided. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

In the general election, Nixon leads Hulshof 52 percent to 35 percent, and he leads Steelman 53 percent to 34 percent, according to the poll. Both leads are well outside the margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Health care, education funding and the economy were cited most frequently by poll respondents as the most important issues determining their votes for governor. Among Republicans, the most important issues cited were the two categories of taxes and spending, and homeland security and illegal immigration.

Nixon is the most well-known among the gubernatorial candidates. He received a favorable rating from 56 percent of those surveyed and an unfavorable rating from 38 percent, leaving just 6 percent with no opinion about him.

Hulshof was viewed favorably by 43 percent and unfavorably by 33 percent, with 24 percent saying they had no opinion.

Steelman was viewed favorably by 39 percent and unfavorably by 32 percent, with 29 percent saying they had no opinion.

By comparison, Republican Gov. Matt Blunt was viewed unfavorably by 54 percent of those surveyed and favorably by 42 percent, with 4 percent reporting no opinion. Blunt is not seeking re-election.

Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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