A public opinion poll of the anticipated 2008 Missouri gubernatorial match-up between Republican incumbent Matt Blunt and Democratic challenger Jay Nixon shows it is a neck and neck race. The Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of 500 likely voters, completed last week, shows a statistical tie with Blunt actually ahead of Nixon: 44 percent to 43 percent.

While the election is still more than a year away and polls can be expected to go up and down, this survey is the first in recent memory in which Blunt leads Nixon. A Rasmussen Reports poll completed in August showed Nixon with a 3 percentage point lead.

Breaking down this latest survey along gender lines: Blunt leads by four among men while trailing by two among women.