Miss. Gov. Reeves up 11 over Dem rival

Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley (D) is challenging the incumbent in the November election.
Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves addresses the crowd at the Neshoba County Fair in Philadelphia, Miss., Thursday, July 27, 2023. Reeves faces two opponents in the party primary Aug. 8, as he seeks reelection. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) is comfortably leading his Democratic challenger in his bid for a second term.

Reeves led Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley (D) 52%-41% in a Mississippi Today/Siena College poll released Friday. Reeves leads Presley by a 13-point margin among independent voters, and by a whopping 25 points among men. Women voters are split virtually evenly between the two candidates.

“Mississippians are fired up to re-elect Governor Reeves in November and keep the Mississippi Momentum going!” the Reeves campaign posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, in response to the poll.

The poll aligns with previous surveys of the race, which kicked off in earnest last month after Reeves cruised in his Aug. 8 primary. The general election is Nov. 7.

Presley, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary, faces an uphill climb in his quest to break a 20-year losing streak for Democrats in the red state’s gubernatorial contests. He has sought to tie Reeves to the state’s welfare corruption scandal, an issue that 90% of the poll’s respondents said they were concerned about.

When asked who would do a better job addressing corruption, Presley led 45%-43%.

Reeves’s favorable rating stands at just 46%, while 49% say they view him unfavorably. But far fewer voters know Presley — the Democrat is seen in a positive light by 38% of voters, and unfavorably by 26%.

The poll of 650 likely voters was conducted Aug. 20-28 and had a 4-point margin of error.

Mississippi is one of three states holding gubernatorial elections this fall, along with Kentucky and Louisiana.