President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo, Miss., Friday, November 1, 2019. Credit: Eric J. Shelton/Mississippi Today, Report For America

Mississippians are near evenly split on their view of former President Donald Trump, according a new poll from Mississippi Today/Siena College.

The poll, conducted between August 20-28, found Trump had a favorable rating of 49% and a negative rating of 48% among likely Mississippi voters. While almost half of poll respondents had a negative view of the former president, who is facing multiple charges related to allegations of election interference, hiding classified documents and other issues, he is still viewed more favorably than other politicians cited in the poll.

Gov. Tate Reeves, for instance, is viewed favorably by 46% and negatively by 49%.

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.

As far as politicians who currently are running against Trump in the 2024 presidential campaign, Democratic President Joe Biden is viewed favorably by 36% and unfavorably by 61%. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is challenging Trump in the Republican primary, is viewed favorably by 41% and negatively by 43%.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson of Bolton, who chaired the historic Jan. 6 Commission that investigated the attack on the U.S. Capitol to block the certification of the 2020 election and Trump’s role in the effort, is viewed favorably by 39% and unfavorably by 38%. Thompson, who has never run statewide, was not known by 22% of respondents.

In 2019, during Mississippi’s last gubernatorial election, Trump was more popular in the state than he is now, according to previous polling. In an NBC News/Survey Monkey poll conducted in July 2019, 41% of Mississippians strongly approved of Trump and 15% somewhat approved, while 31% strongly disapproved and 12% somewhat disapproved.

A slim majority of respondents in the most recent poll said they did not think Trump should face criminal charges related to election interference for allegations of taking classified documents and refusing to return them. According to the poll, 51% said he should not have been indicted, while 44% said he should have been indicted.

A 54% majority, on the other hand, said Biden should be impeached by the U.S. House for “his involvement in alleged corrupt dealings by his son, Hunter Biden.” The poll found 41% said he should not be indicted, and the rest offered no opinion.

The poll also quizzed Mississippi voters about who they would prefer to see running for president in the 2024 general election. A slim plurality — 26% — said they would prefer someone other than Trump and Biden. According to the poll:

  • 25% said they would prefer Trump and Biden.
  • 23% said they would like to see Biden vs. someone other than Trump.
  • 19% said they would prefer Trump and someone other than Biden.

The Mississippi Today/Siena College Research Institute poll of 650 registered voters was conducted August 20-28, 2023, and has an overall margin of error of +/- 4.0 percentage points. Siena has an ‘A’ rating in FiveThirtyEight’s analysis of pollsters.

Click here for complete methodology and crosstabs relevant to this story.

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Bobby Harrison, Mississippi Today’s senior capitol reporter, covers politics, government and the Mississippi State Legislature. He also writes a weekly news analysis which is co-published in newspapers statewide. A native of Laurel, Bobby joined our team June 2018 after working for the North Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo since 1984. He is president of the Mississippi Capitol Press Corps Association and works with the Mississippi State University Stennis Institute to organize press luncheons. Bobby has a bachelor's in American Studies from the University of Southern Mississippi and has received multiple awards from the Mississippi Press Association, including the Bill Minor Best Investigative/In-depth Reporting and Best Commentary Column.