GOP gubernatorial primary is a theoretical dead heat

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(KTVI) - Tuesday is the Missouri Primary.  After months of political ads and several debates, the Republican race for governor is sure to be one of the most watched races on the ballot.  Four candidates are on the ballot for the Republicans and according to a new poll by the St. Louis Post Dispatch, all four are within the margin of error.  John Brunner is at 23%.  Eric Greitens is tied with Catherine Hannaway at 21%.  Peter Kinder is at 18%.  The margin of error in the poll is 5%, so they are in a theoretical dead heat.

David Kimball, a political science professor at UMSL says races like these are difficult to judge because of the nature of primary races and this unusual political cycle.  “Primary elections are in some ways tougher for voters because all the candidates are of the same party, so you don’t have the party label to help tip you in one way or the other.”

Professor Kimball went on to say that typically races can be won due to name recognition, but that may not be the case this year.  “With all other things being equal voters tend to go for the devil you know versus the devil you don’t”, he adds.  But in this “Year of the Outsider” where 17% of likely Republican voters say they are still undecided, you never know what to expect.  “Those undecided voters will base their decision on whatever information they have, like TV commercials, what they read in the paper, or if prominent politicians endorse them.”

But with this strange year, he adds, “we just have to wait and see what the voters do tomorrow.”