ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Months of intense advertising and campaigning have done little to change Republican Roy Blunt's lead over Democrat Robin Carnahan in Missouri's U.S. Senate race, according to a new media poll.
A poll released Saturday by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and television station KMOV shows Blunt with support from 49 percent of likely voters compared with 40 percent for Carnahan.
The telephone poll included a random sample of 625 registered voters who said they regularly cast ballots in state elections. It was conducted Monday through Wednesday by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
The results indicate that people's preferences have not changed much in the past two months. In a July poll by the same organizations, Blunt led Carnahan 48 percent to 42 percent.
Blunt, who represents a southwest Missouri congressional district, and Carnahan, who is secretary of state, are competing to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Kit Bond in the Nov. 2 election. The ballot also includes Libertarian and Constitution Party candidates, who received a combined 3 percent support in the poll. Eight percent said they were undecided.
The latest poll was conducted just a few days after two Senate debates in which Carnahan accused Blunt of being corrupt and labeled him a Washington insider who is too cozy with lobbyists. She has made similar accusations in her television ads. Blunt, meanwhile, has suggested Carnahan would back the policies of President Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders.
"She's thrown her best punches and it didn't get her anywhere," said pollster Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research.
About two-thirds of poll participants chose the economy and jobs as their top issue from list of possibilities that also included government spending and taxes, health care, social issues and family values, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, immigration, and the environment and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Sixty percent disapproved of Obama's job performance. An equal amount disapproved of Obama's handling of the economy. But Congress was even more unpopular in the poll, garnering a 79 percent disapproval rating for its job performance.
The Post-Dispatch interviewed several poll participants. Jennifer Keller, 42, a homemaker from Kansas City, said Carnahan's campaign was overshadowed by voter anger toward Democrats, both in Missouri and nationally.
"Although I'm not a fan of her, I don't know that it's necessarily her beliefs and policies," Keller said. "It's the fact that she's a Democrat. And I think people are really angry at Democrats right now, especially in this state."
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)