The latest on the presidential horse race.

Cruz and Christie Tied in Mississippi Primary Poll

Harper, 12/17-12/18
Mississippi GOP:

  • Christie: 16
  • Cruz: 16
  • Paul: 14
  • Ryan: 12
  • Rubio: 10
  • Jindal: 9
  • Santorum: 4
  • Walker: 2

A new Harper poll has found that Chris Christie and Ted Cruz are tied in the 2016 Mississippi primary race with Rand Paul right on their heels.

The poll, conducted between December 17 and 18, sampling 710 likely Mississippi Republican primary voters, found that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Texas Senator Ted Cruz are tied atop the Republican primary race with 16 percent of the vote apiece. Christie doesn’t own large leads over Cruz and Paul in most states but many question if the Northeast Moderate will be able to win over enough Southern Conservatives to take enough delegates to the convention.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul remains very much in the race with 14 percent of the vote. Among those surveyed, 55 percent said they would prefer to vote for a Tea Party Republican like Paul or Cruz while just 29 percent said they prefer a non-Tea Party Republican and another 16 percent remain undecided.

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan finished fourth in the Magnolia State poll with 12 percent of the vote. That’s no surprise as Ryan has been polling in low-double digits in almost every state we’ve seen so far.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who has fallen off severely in most states, remains with a chance in Mississippi as he drew 10 percent of the vote. Even neighboring Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal performed much better in this poll than we’ve seen in most states as he received 9 percent of the vote.

The rest of the GOP pack didn’t factor in much as former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum finished with 4 percent of the vote and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker finished with just 2 percent.

Mississippi doesn’t have a closed primary which means Independents who aren’t registered as Republicans can vote in the primary. The poll sample was 78 percent Republican and 22 percent Independent. While some primaries award all of the state’s delegates to the winner, Mississippi has a proportional primary.

In 2012, Rick Santorum received 33 percent of the vote and 13 of the state’s 40 delegates while Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney both received 31 percent and 12 delegates apiece. The Mississippi primary takes place in March.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)