State of the Race: The US Senate Race Is Heating up in Missouri

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

With Missouri’s primary election just over four months away and the filing deadline March 29th, things are heating up, most notably in the US Senate race. The top two Democrat candidates are Lucas Kunce and Scott Sifton, but most eyes are trained on the Republican primary, for good reason: The candidates are vying for the seat being vacated by Republican Roy Blunt, and Missouri is inarguably a red state at present, with all statewide elected offices, save one, held by Republicans, six of the eight Congressional seats held by Republicans, and, of course, both Senate seats held by Republicans.


On Saturday, the latest Missouri Scout/Remington Research poll came out and showed Missouri’s Attorney General, Eric Schmitt, taking the lead, edging out former Governor Eric Greitens, with Schmitt at 24 percent and Greitens at 21 percent.

The previous Missouri Scout poll, released February 19, 2022, had Schmitt at 22 percent and Greitens at 25 percent, per RealClearPolitics. Presumably, that shift was due, at least in part, to the news that broke last week regarding the domestic abuse allegations made by Greitens’ ex-wife, Sheena Greitens, in an affidavit filed with the court in their ongoing custody battle.

The most recent poll was conducted March 22-23, after news of the allegations came out, and included a question about the allegations, asking what respondents thought of them.

32 percent of respondents found the allegations disqualifying, 23 percent indicated they didn’t believe them, 19 percent found them troubling but not disqualifying, while 16 percent were unsure what they think of them, and 10 percent were unaware of them.


Comparing the two polls, Schmitt moved up by two points, while Greitens moved down by four. Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler picked up a point in the interim, edging up to 19 percent from 18 percent, as did Congressman Billy Long, moving from eight to nine percent.

Coming on the heels of the recent Trafalgar Group poll showing both Schmitt and Hartzler handily besting their likely Democrat opponents (Kunce and Sifton), while leaving Greitens in a virtual tie with them, this is an obvious boost to Schmitt’s campaign.

(I’d share a tweet from Hartzler’s campaign but sadly, she remains suspended from Twitter for speaking out in defense of women’s sports.)

The extent to which the allegations against Greitens stick and drag him down will be a bit clearer once additional polls come out — the most recent Republican primary poll from Trafalgar, conducted February 22-24 (before the allegations broke), showed Greitens at 31 percent, Schmitt at 23 percent, and Hartzler at 17 percent. No, we shouldn’t put too much stock in polls, but the trends can add some insight.

In terms of fundraising, Schmitt leads the other GOP candidates. As of December 31, 2021, Schmitt had north of $2.4 million in receipts, with $1.2 million cash on hand. Hartzler followed with $1.9 million in receipts and over $1.7 million on hand. Greitens was in third place, with close to $1.5 million in receipts (but only $290,000 on hand).  State Senate President pro-Tempore Dave Schatz (who is primarily self-funded) had over $1.1 million in receipts (and on hand), and the remainder of the candidates were south of the million-dollar mark.


Per The Missouri Times, as of the end of January:

Attorney General Eric Schmitt brought in nearly $1.7 million, between his U.S. Senate campaign and PAC, in the latest fundraising cycle.

Schmitt ended the cycle with $1.27 million cash on hand in his campaign account, according to his fundraising report first shared with The Missouri Times. The Save Missouri Values PAC, which is supporting Schmitt in his bid for U.S. Senate reported more than $2.41 million cash on hand.

Schmitt raised about $457,000 this cycle; the PAC brought in more than $1.2 million.

That could be impacted, however, by “super PACS with deep pockets.”  Per the Southeast Missourian:

Federal Election Commission reports show that through December, Greitens had raised $1.5 million — nearly $1 million less than Schmitt and $444,000 less than Hartzler. Greitens had less than $300,000 cash on hand, compared to $1.27 million for Schmitt and $1.8 million for Hartzler.

But Greitens does have support from two super PACs with deep pockets. Missouri First Action PAC has donated nearly $1.1 million, with most of that coming from Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus. As of Dec. 31, nearly all of that money remained unspent. A separate pro-Greitens super PAC called Team PAC has raised $2.5 million from Dick Uihlein, a billionaire shipping supply magnate.

Look for the money to start being spent now that we’re entering the thick of Primary Season. We’ll be following the race closely here at RedState.



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