Mississippi Republican voters are still standing firmly with former President Donald Trump, according to a new Mississippi Today/Siena College poll.
When poll respondents were asked which candidate they would vote for if a presidential primary were held today, Trump garnered support from 57% of Mississippi Republicans, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had support from 34%. Just 8% of the Republicans surveyed were undecided.
However, among Mississippi independents, who often vote in Republican primaries, DeSantis carried a plurality of support with 44% over Trump’s 34%. An additional 18% of independents surveyed were undecided, and 5% chose “someone else.”
Editor’s note: Poll methodology and crosstabs can be found at the bottom of this story. Click here to read more about our partnership with Siena College Research Institute.
Even as Trump’s support erodes in several red states, his numbers among Mississippi Republicans remain strong.
Trump enjoys a 78% favorability rating among Mississippi Republicans, according to the poll, with 17% of Republicans finding him unfavorable. Just 4% responded they didn’t know enough to say, and 1% refused to answer the question.
DeSantis has a 61% favorability rating among Mississippi Republicans, with 10% of Republicans finding him unfavorable. A sizable 28% of Mississippi Republicans responded they didn’t know enough to say, and 1% refused.
When factoring in independents and Democrats, though, Trump’s total approval rating dips drastically to 42%, with 53% of voters finding the former president unfavorable. DeSantis’ approval rating also dips when factoring in independents and Democrats: 37% of the state finds DeSantis favorable, 27% find him unfavorable, and 33% say they don’t know enough about him to decide.
Democratic President Joe Biden, expectedly, does not enjoy high marks among Mississippi voters.
Biden has a 39% approval rating in the state, while 57% of respondents find him unfavorable, according to the poll. A drastic partisan split is factored into the average: 81% of Democrats find Biden favorable, while 16% find him unfavorable; 9% of Republicans find Biden favorable, while 89% of Republicans find him unfavorable; and just 29% of independents find Biden favorable, while 65% find him unfavorable.
Separately, when poll respondents were asked which candidate they think was the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election, 52% of the state said Biden was the legitimate winner over Trump. Two-thirds (66%) of Mississippi Republicans think Trump won the 2020 election, while just 20% of Republican respondents think Biden did.
A 52% majority of Mississippi’s white respondents — including survey participants of all parties, not just Republicans — said they thought Trump was the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election.
Respondents to the poll were also asked: “Thinking about the state of our democracy, are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future of our country?” Exactly 50% of all respondents said they were pessimistic about the future, including 65% of Republicans, 60% of independents, and 29% of Democrats.
Just 44% of all respondents said they were optimistic about the future, including 30% of Republicans, 32% of independents, and 65% of Democrats.
The Mississippi Today/Siena College Research Institute poll of 821 registered voters was conducted Jan. 8-12 and has an overall margin of error of +/- 4.6 percentage points. Siena has an A rating in FiveThirtyEight’s analysis of pollsters.