In November matchup, Waller slightly outperforms Reeves; Hood trails both Republicans, poll says

Republican candidate Bill Waller Jr., is outperforming Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves against Democrat Jim Hood, according to a NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll with Mississippi Today.

The poll released Friday morning shows that Waller, whose campaign slogan is “the conservative who can win in November,” would perform three points better against Hood than Reeves, who has 10 times the money and key endorsements statewide.

In a matchup between Hood and Waller, the results were:

• Bill Waller Jr., Republican: 53%

• Jim Hood, Democrat: 41%

• No answer: 6%

When Hood is matched against Reeves, the race breaks down this way:

• Tate Reeves, Republican: 51%

• Jim Hood, Democrat: 42%

• No answer: 6%

Hood, the fourth term attorney general who aims to become the state’s first Democratic governor since 2003, trails Waller by 12 points and Reeves by nine points in the poll.

Waller announced his candidacy in mid-February after serving 22 years on the Mississippi Supreme Court. His entrance into the race shocked many who assumed Reeves would coast to a Republican nomination.

Waller has pitched several of the same policy proposals as Hood, including increasing teacher pay each year until the state’s average reaches the Southeastern average and expanding Medicaid (although Waller exclusively refers to his plan as “Medicaid reform”).

Reeves, who has served the past eight years as lieutenant governor after also serving two terms as state treasurer, has largely ignored Waller and Hernando state Rep. Robert Foster, instead focusing his messaging on defeating Hood in November. All the while, he’s racked up endorsements and support from 300 local Republican Party officials across the state, including Gov. Phil Bryant and former Gov. Haley Barbour.