Internal Polling in Missouri Worries GOP

I am not hearing about polls in the race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in Missouri, which is an open seat since Sen. Roy Blunt is retiring. I don’t believe there has been any public polling. But I take it from articles in Politico today that former governor Eric Greitens is ahead, according to internal polling.

This surprises me, because I never hear about Eric Greitens. On the other hand, another candidate, Attorney General Eric Schmitt, is in the news every day. He has been vigorously grandstanding over “tyrannical” covid restrictions and suing school districts that won’t drop mask mandates. He likes to file attention-grabbing lawsuits, such as a recent one about the admission and parole of refugees at the southern border,who are minor children. (Last I heard, Missouri does not border Mexico.) One could argue he’s using his office and the taxpayers’ dime to campaign. But one hears his name so much I would have assumed he was the front runner.

The other current candidates of note include Mark McCloskey, who has been blessedly invisible lately, and U.S. Representative Vicky Hartzler, who has a long history of campaiging against same-sex marriage and Planned Parenthood. I had never heard of her until recently — her district is in another part of the state — but she may become a contender, as I will explain in a bit.

The state Republican party does not want Greitens to be the nominee, because they believe he would be vulnerable in a general election. A recent head-to-head poll found him only 4 points ahead of the current Democratic front runner, Lucas Kunce.  The article doesn’t say if there has been head-to-head polling with Schmitt or McCloskey against Kunce. I had never heard of Kunce before last year, but from what I’ve seen so far, he’d be an excellent senator. Barring some unfortunate turn of events, he’s got my vote in the primary.

Greitens is a slimebag, no question. But it also makes me crazy that news media keep saying he resigned because of a sex scandal. No, he did not. Conventional wisdom in these here parts was that he could have survived the sex scandal. I say he resigned because the Missouri House was investigating him for possible campaign finance violations, and when a judge ordered him to turn over documents from his dark money fundraising group, he resigned almost immediately. Like, later that same day. He had also been charged with computer tampering to hide the dark money donations, and when he resigned the charge was dropped. This suggests a more compelling reason for the resignation than the lady who complained about being tied up to exercise equipment in his basement and molested. She wasn’t planning on pressing charges, as I recall, and without a trial the episode would have faded from the news. See Bad Coverage of the Greitens Resignation from May 2018.

The Greitens issue has put our other senator, Josh “Fist Pump” Hawley, into an awkward position. Hawley was the state attorney general in 2018, and he investigated Greitens for campaign finance violations. I understand that the Hawley investigation brought about the computer tampering charge. Hawley was staying away from endorsing anybody, but over the weekend he endorsed Vicky Hartzler. Why Hartzler and not Schmitt or even McCloskey I do not know.

But then as soon as Hawley announced his endorsement, he was slammed by another candidate for Roy Blunt’s seat, U.S. Rep. Billy Long of the 7th district, which includes Branson. Long is a loyal Trump factotum who supports whatever Trump supports and opposes whatever Trump opposes. The Springfield News-Leader reported,

A frequent user of Twitter, Long has posted several times in recent days about Hawley and Hartzler. He criticized both of their camps for selling merchandise not made in the United States, and pointed to Hartzler’s previous vote on “The Great American Outdoors Act.”

“PS I voted for it if you’re taking notes,” Long wrote.

Whatever. It must be that Hartzler is polling better than Long.

Speaking of Josh Hawley, the campaign merch he is selling includes this January 6 commemorative “Fist Pump” mug.


I can’t even. And I don’t know where he gets his merch made.

The other factor is, of course, the Trump endorsement. Politico reports that Republicans want Trump to endorse Hertzler (why not Eric Schmitt? His polling must be terrible). The consenses is that if Trump does endorse Hertzler, she wins the primary.

“But Trump feels burned by some of his previously endorsed candidates who’ve fizzled out, and has been reluctant to wade in unless he’s sure he’s backing a winner,” says Politico. This doesn’t exactly speak well to the power of Trump’s endorsement.

In another Politico article, I learn why I haven’t seen any campaign ads on television yet.

Unlike other crowded Republican races where Senate candidates and their super PACs have already spent tens of millions of dollars on ads, the airwaves in Missouri are quiet. Instead, the campaigns have been battling it out at grassroots events and on their own social media platforms, with no one emerging yet as a clear front-runner.

I hope that continues for a while.

In other Missouri news: Glenn Thrush writes for the New York Times that the Justice Department yesterday sued the state for attempting to nullify federal firearm law.

The Second Amendment Preservation Act, enacted last year, provides for penalizing law enforcement agencies that knowingly enforce federal gun laws within the state with a fine of about $50,000 per violating officer. The blatantly unconstitutional Act explicitly states that any federal laws, executive orders or other federal regulations used to track or take away firearms from law-abiding citizens will be considered void in Missouri. This is nullification on its face, even as Gov. Parson and A.G. Schmitt insist it isn’t. Right; and this is not a duck.

St. Louis filed suit against the state over the law last June, and in December the U.S. DOJ filed a brief in support of the St. Louis suit. Glenn Thrush writes that the state Supreme Court was hearing arguments on the St. Louis suit, and the lawyers were nearing the end of their presentations.

The suit came two days after lawyers in the Missouri case began wrapping up their closing arguments before the state Supreme Court, and Republicans were quick to suggest the Justice Department’s suit was intended to pre-empt a possible loss in the state court.

This is the same state supreme court that thinks “actual innocence” is not a valid reason to let someone out of prison. I wouldn’t trust them to know the supremacy clause from a toaster.

On the other hand, I am pleased to report that the “Make Murder Legal” act I wrote about a few days ago has died in committee. Maybe it won’t come back.

9 thoughts on “Internal Polling in Missouri Worries GOP

  1. maha, "Joke" Hee-hawley's cups are made in..
    Wait for it:

    I swear I'm not making that up.  I saw a photo of the bottoms of Joke's cup on another liberal website.  

    I don't understand why politicians don't think people will look. 

    I mean, I'm not going to look at every piece of merch a pol's pushing to see where it's made.  But if one of your political stances is to bemoan the state of stuff that's no longer made in America, then I kinda expect you to get your political crap made here in the good ol' USA!

    Otherwise, you're even MORE of a hypocrite than normal politicians.

    I'm lookin' directly at you, Joke.

    The only thing you've 'shown me,' son, is that you are a lying, treasonous, bigoted skunk!

      • If I lived in Missouri, I’d be very tempted to take the Hawley mug design and produce my own, with “Hee-Hawley” or some other mocking epithet, perhaps dressing him in a Nazi uniform, for that’s what this a$$hat deserves.

        “We have the technology” was the tagline for the Six Million Dollar Man, and so it is today, where anybody can come up with a mug or T-shirt design and get it produced for probably almost nothing.

        It would all hinge upon 1) how creative and effective you could be, and 2) what repercussions, if any, you’d have to endure from Hawley and his goon squad.

  2. 2022 is there for the GOP to take or screw up. Trump is screwing it up. Mark Giffords – AZ may pull off a tough one because the strongest GOP candidate for the Senate seat is on Trump's list. (Naughty, not nice.) In MO, they might wind up with a populist perv win the primary and crash in the GE. Georgia – with Stacy Abrams running, should see way above-average turnout. So there's reason to be hopeful there.

    If Trump is charged criminally before 2024, does the trial get suspended? I don't think this has ever come up. Trump sees the Oval Office as a get-out-of-jail-free card. I'm not sure the courts will support Trump in dodging a criminal trial by running. 

  3. It is good to hear the 'right to murder' bill died in committee.  One can hope the trend toward No More Crazy continues.   


  4. Thank you, maha!  🙂

    You know the old sayings:

    Blind pig… truffles/blind squirrel… nuts (not human ones, the ones up on trees).

  5. One thing internal polling will NOT reveal is the effect of paranoia on conservative turnout. The degree of despair and disjointed conviction that a mysterious cabal controls everything isn't in the question, "Which candidate will you vote for?" which presumes that participation is going to show up ip in voting.

    I talked to a right-wing podcaster, a nice enough lady about my thesis: that a ban on big money in politics will change everything. She gave me a "yeah, but…" and went into a long tirade about "they" – control everything, own everybody, can blackmail anyone who will not join….  And yes, she's convinced Trump is outside of it all and incorruptible. *sigh*

    She's absolutely convinced that Trump won. The judges are all compromised by the undefined "they." And the insanity results in the cult of personality – the belief that Trump is the savior.  When I comprehended, imperfectly, how the loop worked in her head, I could see NO reason for her to vote, unless Trump is directly on the ballot.. 

    She believes that Trump people will have to revolt and purge the world of the evildoers in a bloodbath – nothing less will work. I do not think she wants a resolution through the ballot box. (Does she perceive in a corner of her brain that her side is outnumbered by people of a darker complexion? And democracy will deprive her side of power?)  Participation in the democratic process is counterproductive – it prolongs the delay before the purge. 

    So I don't think anyone is even trying to measure what these people will often conceal from "they" who are in control – that they are pitching the entire idea of elections and democracy. How many of them just won't show up in November?

  6. Missouri is screwed. The governor is a whackaloon, the legislature racist and bloodthirsty, and the supreme court simpleminded.

    I will never enter that state again. If I were Arkansas, I'd strengthen my border.

    No offense.

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