With less than two weeks to go before the 1st district special election to fill the remainder of now-Sen. Roger Wicker’s (R) term, Prentiss County Chancery Clerk Travis Childers, the Democratic nominee in the general election, released a poll Wednesday showing that he has a slight lead in a head-to-head matchup with Southhaven Mayor Greg Davis, the Republican general election nominee.
The poll of 500 likely special election voters conducted by Anzalone Liszt Research from April 3 to 7 gave Childers 41 percent and Davis 40 percent when pitted against each other. When all six names that will appear on the special ballot were tested, Childers took 27 percent to Davis’ 29 percent.
The margin of error was 4.4 points.
While Davis and Childers will be the major players in the special election, the names of Tupelo Mayor Glenn McCullough (R) and state Rep. Steve Holland (D), who recently lost in the Republican and Democratic general primary runoffs, respectively, will appear on the special ballot. McCullough and Holland had qualified for the special but are no longer actively campaigning after losing their runoff races.
The April 22 special will be an open election where party identifications will not be on the ballot, which is a boon to Democrats in a historically Republican district. But Mississippi’s Republican power brokers, including Wicker, Gov. Haley Barbour, Sens. Thad Cochran and Wicker and former Sen. Trent Lott, all are throwing their weight behind Davis’ campaign to ensure the seat remains in Republican hands.
Cochran, Wicker and Lott, along with House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.) and retiring Rep. Chip Pickering (R), were scheduled to hold a fundraiser for Davis this morning on Capitol Hill.
— John McArdle