New Trafalgar Poll Reveals Some Hard Truths About the Missouri Senate Race

(Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

The Trafalgar Group has released a new poll regarding the Missouri Senate race that highlights the issue with one of the purported frontrunners in the race.

As we’ve reported previously, Republican Roy Blunt’s announcement that he would not be seeking re-election…

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…set off a mad scramble amongst Missouri politicos — who would be vying to take Blunt’s place and join Josh Hawley (who’ll then become the “senior” Senator from Missouri) in D.C.?

The first to declare his candidacy was former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, who made his intentions clear a mere two weeks after Blunt’s retirement announcement. Greitens rode the same red wave as Trump in 2016, claiming the governorship as his first elected office. However, Greitens resigned in May of 2018 following scandal/controversy involving an affair with his hairdresser and allegations that he photographed her in a state of undress and threatened to publish the photo(s) if she revealed the affair, as well as allegations regarding the improper use of a campaign donor list.  He was facing likely impeachment, a move supported by the majority of his fellow Republicans in Missouri. (Greitens, a Democrat until roughly a nanosecond before declaring his candidacy for governor, had not cultivated longstanding relationships nor made many friends among the Missouri GOP.) Following his announcement for the Senate, Greitens moved swiftly to align himself with Trump, securing Kimberly Guilfoyle as national chair of his campaign. However, Trump reportedly was less-than-pleased with this move.

(Speaking of naked photos and blackmail…but I digress.)

On Wednesday, Robert Cahaly of Trafalgar Group tweeted about the results of their latest poll assessing the chances of the top three Republican candidates for the nomination in head-to-head match-ups with the top Democrat candidates.

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Not surprisingly, while Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler both show comfortable margins over their would-be Democrat opponents, Greitens winds up in a virtual tie. This is undoubtedly due to the fact that Greitens has significant baggage attached to him. As political as St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s prosecution of him may have been (and it was), the baggage remains.

Which goes a long way toward explaining why St. Louis Post Dispatch editorial board member Kevin McDermott recently penned a column endorsing Greitens. McDermott explains:

Eric Greitens is the worst of the worst. He earns the title just by virtue of the credible sexual-assault allegations that drove him out of the Missouri governor’s office in 2018.

But wait, there’s more! You want chameleon-like hypocrisy? This is a former Democrat and humanitarian activist who turned into a fire-breathing right-winger the millisecond it served his political ambitions. You want campaign-finance shenanigans? Greitens was criminally charged for that, until his resignation as governor made it go away. You want testosterone-addled stunt-politics? Go to YouTube and check out his infamous “machine gun” campaign ad from 2016.

It really is difficult to imagine anyone more demonstrably unfit for public office than Eric Greitens.

Which is why, after some soul-searching, I’m planning to vote for Greitens in the primary, and will encourage it for others who understand how important it is to prevent the GOP from retaking the Senate. If helping Republicans nominate a potentially unelectable Senate candidate accomplishes that, it will be a ballot well-cast.

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Democrats want him — because they believe they can beat him.

Important to note regarding the Trafalgar poll: It was conducted between March 9 and March 13, 2022, included 1075 respondents who were “likely general election voters,” 53.8 percent of whom were Republican, 27.9 percent Democrat, and 18.3 percent “No Party/Other.”

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