By Russell Berman – The Hill
A new poll shows trouble for Democrats in the key battleground state of Missouri, with President Obama down 9 points to GOP candidate Mitt Romney andÂ Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) trailing all three of her possible Republican opponents.
A newÂ Mason-Dixon survey, conducted for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and News 4, findsÂ presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney leading President Obama 51-42 percent among registered voters.
Obama holds a 51 percent unfavorable rating in the state with 34 favorable, challenging numbers three months from election day.Â Romney holds a 39 percent favorable rating to 27 unfavorable.
In the Senate race, the poll finds incumbent McCaskill trailing all three GOP primary contenders. McCaskill would lose a head-to-head matchupÂ by nine points to businessman John Brunner (R), 52-41 percent, by eight points to former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman (R), 49-41 percent, and by five points to Rep. Todd Akin (R), 49-44 percent.
The poll also found McCaskill with a net unfavorable rating and faring poorly among independents.Â McCaskillâ€™s numbers are underwater with 44 percent unfavorable to 37 favorable. Â Among her possible opponents, Steelman has the highest unfavorable rating at 14 percent.
Among independent voters, McCaskill would lose in a matchup with Brunner 57 percent to 36, a 21-point edge for the GOP candidate. Against Steelman and Akin, McCaskill trails among independents by 16 and 11 percent respectively.
Republicans have sought to tie McCaskill to President Obama, who carried the state in 2008, but is facing a tough fight against Romney. A WeAskAmerica poll released this week put Romney ahead of Obama 49 to 40 percent, which equals the margin in the Mason-Dixon poll.
Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker said that McCaskillâ€™s ties to the president were hurting her in the red-leaning state. â€œA lot of people are going to hold her accountable for her close ties to the president,â€ he said to the Post-Dispatch.
McCaskill is a top target for Republicans with outside groups signaling that they will spend heavily against her.
Vice President Joe Biden attended a private fundraiser for McCaskill in the state earlier this month, calling her the â€œtoughest, most principled person in the United States Senate.â€
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