A new public opinion poll shows Missouri’s U.S. Senate contest remains a neck-and-neck affair, with incumbent Democrat Senator Jean Carnahan slightly ahead of her Republican challenger, former St. Louis area Congressman Jim Talent. The statewide poll, conducted by Zogby International for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, gives Carnahan the support of 47.6 percent of those surveyed, compared to 40.3 percent for Talent. The poll, taken last week, surveyed 501 likely voters. Pollster John Zogby credits Carnahan’s support among men for her improvement over her standing in recent polls. The same survey asked respondents their preferences for Missouri’s race for State Auditor. Incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill is favored by 49.7 percent of those asked, compared to 21.5 percent for Republican challenger Al Hanson.