A new poll into the Mississippi gubernatorial race released Thursday finds Republican Gov. Tate Reeves faces a potentially competitive race this fall, though he still has a lead in the Republican state.

He Magnolia Tribune/Mason-Dixon Polling finds that 46% of registered Mississippi voters back Reeves and 39% back Democrat Brandon Presley, a member of the state’s Public Utilities Commission. Fifteen percent were undecided.

Presley had a slight lead among independent voters, with 42% supporting him, 37% supporting Reeves, and 21% undecided. The Democrat has a lot of work to do to boost name recognition with 37% of voters surveyed saying they did not recognize his name.

Presley, who is related to the late Elvis Presley, is the only Democratic candidate in the race. reeves does not face any major main challengeso the two candidates will face each other in November.

Although Democrats can take some comfort in the latest poll, a state victory remains difficult for any Democrat in the traditionally Republican state. Former President Donald Trump carried the state by 17 percentage points in 2020, but Reeves won a first term by just 5 points in 2019.

The poll surveyed 625 registered voters via live phone interviews from March 6-9. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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