Republican Haley Barbour (search ) won the governor’s race in Mississippi last week by gaining support from several key constituencies, allowing him to oust incumbent Democrat Ronnie Musgrove.
Results from the FOX News exit poll in Mississippi show that Barbour was able to keep Musgrove from serving a second term by capturing support from almost all Republican voters (91 percent), a large majority of self-defined conservative voters (76 percent), over half of independents (54 percent), a majority of men (58 percent), and most white voters in the state (77 percent).
Democrats had campaigned against former national GOP Chairman Barbour by painting him as a carpetbagger who had spent many years in Washington lobbying for special interests. A majority of Mississippi voters disagreed, as 61 percent said Barbour’s experience in Washington would “help Mississippi,” almost twice as many as said it would “hurt” the state (33 percent).
In 1999, Musgrove won the governor’s office with just under 50 percent of the vote, which meant the race had to be decided by the Mississippi State House. And while a majority of his 1999 voters continued to support him this election (74 percent), a quarter of Musgrove’s previous supporters (25 percent) switched to vote for Republican challenger Barbour this time around.
Musgrove’s reelection campaign was hampered by the state’s poor economic conditions. Almost two-thirds (64 percent) of Mississippi voters rated the condition of the state’s economy negatively, and a majority of those voters supported Barbour.
Looking Ahead to 2004
Voters in the Mississippi governor’s race were asked how they would vote in the 2004 presidential election, if it were held today. Nearly half (47 percent) said they would definitely vote for President Bush, about a third (34 percent) said they definitely would vote for “someone else,” and the remaining 17 percent were undecided.
FOX News exit poll results in Mississippi are based on interviews with 1859 voters in 35 polling places. Edison/Mitofsky conducted the exit poll for the National Election Pool.
A typical error due to sampling for a 95 percent confidence interval is +/- 3%. Characteristics that are more concentrated in a few polling places, such as race, have larger sampling errors. Other non-sampling factors may increase the total error.
How to Read "Horizontal" Tables
The percentages in the first column, labeled "Total," show the proportion of the electorate that is in each subgroup -- these columns are read down vertically.
The percentages in all remaining columns are read across horizontally (those to the right of the "Total" column). These percentages show how the particular subgroup of voters divided their vote among the candidates or vote question.
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