JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) – The 2012 presidential election is hurtling ever closer, with voters set to go to the polls two weeks from tomorrow.
How are the various races shaping up?
A new report from Public Policy Polling focuses on a number of races in Missouri, including the contentious U.S. Senate battle.
The PPP poll shows Democratic incumbant Claire McCaskill is clinging to a narrow lead over Republican challenger Todd Akin, 46% to 40%.
Six-percent of respondents are undecided, enough to potentially wipe out McCaskill’s lead.
According to pollsters, there were a lot of reasons to think this high-profile race might shift back toward Todd Akin as the furor over his controversial comments on rape and abortion back in August started to die down.
But according to PPP, “his image has actually just continued to get worse”.
31% of voters now say they have a favorable opinion of him to 57% with a negative one, compared to a 33/55 spread earlier this month.
Not that McCaskill is capitalizing on her opponent’s woes — 51% of respondents to the latest poll disapprove of McCaskill, while 44% approve.
Another reason to think that the race is far from over is the 48-to-41 percent margin by which Missouri voters would like to see Republicans have control in the U.S. Senate.
“Undecideds” in the Senate race back Republican challenger Mitt Romney over President Barack Obama 81-13%.
Pollsters go on to point out that Missouri was the closest state in the nation when it came to Presidental race results in 2008, but they feel the Show-Me State is ready to shed that status four years later.
Showing a shift into Red State territory, Romney leads Obama 52% to 46%, and Romney’s favorability is up four points to 52% since the first presidential debate.
Only 44% of Missouri voters approve of the job President Obama’s doing, compared to 54% who disapprove, and on the issue of the economy they choose Romney over Obama 54%-43%.
The race that has tightened up in recent weeks is the one for Missouri Governor.
Incumbant Democrat Jay Nixon will has a 51/40 lead over Republican Dave Spence, but that’s down 8 points overall from the 54/35 spread Nixon enjoyed just three weeks ago.
The reason for the shift, according to Public Policy: Republicans who are beginning to unify around Spence as they become more familiar with him.
Meanwhile, the contest for Lieutenant Governor is being called a toss-up with two weeks to go, with both Republican incumbant Peter Kinder and Democrat challenger Susan Montee garnering 43% support in the latest PPP poll.