Crowded primary key for one Missouri Senate candidate

With the announcement of Senator Roy Blunt’s retirement, all eyes are focused on who will replace Missouri’s senior senator in the 2022 midterm elections.

It has only been a month since his announcement, but candidates on both sides of the aisle have already announced their bid to fill his seat.

Attorney General Eric Schmitt, former Gov. Eric Greitens and Rik Combs have announced their candidacy for the GOP primary. Other potential challengers include U.S. Reps. Vicky Hartzler, Ann Wagner, Jason Smith, and Billy Long as well as prominent businessman John Brunner and State Sen. Dave Schatz.

As for the Democratic primary, former State Sen. Scott Sifton, Lucas Kunce, Tim Shepard and Jewell Kelly have all announced their bid for the seat. Former Gov. Jay Nixon, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and State Sen. Brian Williams are all possible contenders as well. 

As the election continues to garner more attention, it comes as no surprise that political analysts are already gauging how the Republican primary will shake out. 

According to Mizzou professor and political expert Peverill Squire, data from a Remington Research poll commissioned by Missouri Scout suggests that a crowded primary field will only benefit Greitens.

“A large field of GOP candidates would seem to be to Greitens’ advantage,” Squire said. “He appears to have a solid grasp on 25 to 30 percent of likely primary voters, which might be enough to give him the nomination if a large field splinters the remaining vote.”

The polling data acquired by The Heartlander showcasing various scenarios is as follows:

Greitens vs. Schmitt
If the primary is a head to head matchup between Schmitt and Greitens, the race is essentially tied with a slight edge going to the former governor.

Eric Greitens: 40%
Eric Schmitt: 39%
Undecided: 21%

Greitens vs. Schmitt vs. Smith
If Smith jumps in the primary, Greitens holds a 7 point advantage over Schmitt and a 20 point advantage over Smith.

Eric Greitens: 36%
Eric Schmitt: 29%
Jason Smith: 16%
Undecided: 19%

Greitens vs. Schmitt vs. Long
If Long decides to join, Greitens holds a 6 point advantage over Schmitt and a 22 point advantage over Long. 

Eric Greitens: 36%
Eric Schmitt: 30%
Billy Long: 14%
Undecided:  20%

Greitens vs. Schmitt vs. Wagner
If Wagner is on the ticket, Greitens holds a 12 point advantage over Schmitt and a 20 point advantage over Wagner. 

Eric Greitens: 38%
Eric Schmitt: 26%
Ann Wagner: 18%
Undecided: 18%

Greitens vs. Schmitt vs. Smith vs. Wagner vs. Long vs. Brunner vs. Hartzler
If all of the above candidates take a shot at the nomination, the advantage again favors Greitens. In this scenario, he leads his closest competitor (Schmitt) by 13%. 

Eric Greitens: 31%
Eric Schmitt: 18%
Jason Smith: 9%
Ann Wagner: 12%
Billy Long: 6%
John Brunner: 2%
Vicky Hartzler: 8%
Undecided: 14%


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