Republican Congressman Chip Pickering has a solid lead over Democratic Congressman Ronnie Shows in Mississippi's Third Congressional District, a new poll shows.
The poll of 841 likely voters -- commissioned by The Associated
Press and Emmerich Newspapers -- was conducted Oct. 10 through 23.
It was done by the Stennis Institute for Government's Center for Survey Research at Mississippi State University.
Of those likely voters, 54 percent said they would vote for Pickering and 27 percent said Shows. Of the remainder, 11 percent responded "don't know," seven percent refused to answer and one percent was divided among the four other candidates in the race.
At one time, political observers say, Mississippi's race was a key contest for the Republicans to maintain control of the House.
Political scientist Larry Sabato, founder of the University of Virginia's Center for Governmental Studies, says that may no longer be the case.
"I have heard about some private polling that indicates the race is over," said Sabato. "I've heard indications that the Democrats even realize that's Mount Everest to climb."
The closing week of the campaign has been contentious, with each
candidate accusing the other of negative advertising.
When Pickering's ads portrayed Shows as a liberal -- a negative in the Deep South -- the Democrat retaliated by burning some of Pickering's ads in front of television cameras.