KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There’s been a change in support among Missouri GOP voters over the last month and a half as to who they will be voting for in the state’s U.S. Senate race.
An exclusive FOX 2 poll, done with Emerson College and The Hill, shows Attorney General Eric Schmitt is now in the lead with one week to go until the Aug. 2 primary. Schmitt’s lead is in the double digits.
The poll shows 33% of 1,000 likely Missouri Republican primary voters surveyed said they’ll vote for Schmitt. Meanwhile, 21% said they’ll vote for Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler. Just 16% say they’ll vote for former Gov. Eric Greitens. The margin of error is +/-3%.
The poll is a dramatic shift from one the same group conducted in June, where Greitens was in the lead with 26% of the support.
“On the Republican side, we found Eric Schmitt really jumped up in our poll numbers,” Executive Director of Emerson College Polling Spencer Kimball said in an interview with FOX4.
“He was in second place, and at the same time, Eric Greitens really dropped in our numbers. Vicky Hartzler kind of stayed steady right in the middle, so we now have a new lead candidate in Eric Schmitt.”
Kimball went onto say that Greitens has a high unfavorable opinion. Fifty percent of Republicans view him as very unfavorable, and 17% view him as very favorable.
“I would say over the course of the last five or six weeks, there’s probably been some negative advertising towards Greitens, and that seems to have impacted voter attitudes,” Kimball continued.
He’s right about that. According to Open Secrets, the conservative Show Me Values PAC has spent more than $7 million against Greitens.
“It shows what money in politics can do and what advertising does,” Kimball said when asked how much the polling has changed in the past month.
“That’s what campaigns are out there ya know, campaigning, and that’s why they crisscross the state, and they meet with voters. Because five weeks ago, it was more of a name recognition contest. It seems now it’s more into the issues, and the voters’ attitudes changed on that, and we’re seeing those in those numbers.”
On the Democratic side, Anheuser Busch heiress Trudy Busch Valentine has a small lead over Marine veteran Lucas Kunce. The poll shows 39% of Democrats say they plan to vote her, and 35% say they plan to vote for Kunce. The margin of error is +/-3%.
Additionally, 48% of African American Democrats have a very favorable view of Busch Valentine. Just 16% have a very favorable view of Kunce.
“This is why we saw the Lucas Kunce ad against Trudy Busch Valentine regarding the ball because she’s winning the non-white vote, nearly 50-10,” Kimball continued.
“So Kunce needs to make some in-roads with the non-white voter, and it seems like that would be the type of ad that would do it. And at this point, it looks like he’s in second, and he needs a bit of a game changer himself to overtake Trudy Busch Valentine.”
Kimball said the Democratic primary race should be much closer than the Republican one come Aug. 2.