PARKVILLE, Mo. — The U.S. senate race in the state of Missouri, more specifically the GOP primary in August, will be a very interesting one, according to a Park University Professor.
“There’s kind of a lot of balls that are in the air,” Matt Harris, Park University Political Science Professor, said.
He says there are several senators right now like Republican Josh Hawley, who are not keen on former Governor Eric Greitens. Greitens resigned from office after he was accused of taking a picture of his blindfolded and bound mistress, but St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s office never found a picture.
“You’ve got a situation where at least some in the GOP are like, ‘Eric Greitens, given how he resigned in disgrace is probably not a strong general election candidate,’ but he still has a lot of support among the people who vote in the GOP primary,” Harris said.
If fact, Hawley has endorsed current 4th District Congresswoman, Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo. She also picked up an endorsement from Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Friday.
Greitens is leading the primary according to a poll by the Trafalgar Group. It showed that if the Republican primary for U.S. Senate were held this month, nearly 31 percent of the respondents would vote for Greitens, more than any other candidate.
“For a Democrat to win this race, they’re going to need some good fortune, and probably in the vein of the GOP putting up a weaker candidate,” Harris continued. “Greitens is probably the weakest of those general election candidates because he’s got some high negatives.”
The biggest fundraiser so far is Democrat Lucas Kunce from Independence. He’s raised nearly $2.5 million so far, more than Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Hartzler.
“Lucas Kunce is leading one of the most powerful grassroots campaigns in the entire country,” Connor Lounsbury, deputy campaign manager and spokesman, said. “He has outraised the entire Republican field with a total of over $2.5 million to date from over 65,000 donations with 98% of donations under $200 and an average donation of under $38. He’s earned support from all 114 counties across Missouri and the city of St. Louis. Lucas is running on a message of fundamentally changing who has power in this country. It’s this message that has captivated everyday Missourians. Lucas has raised this money without taking a single penny from corporate PACs.”
Harris says often candidates can rack up a lot of money.
“But still, it’s in states like Missouri, where you can have a ton of money, but there’s still just a huge partisan edge in the Republican party, and so sometimes I think the money isn’t always well spent is a way to put that.”
Harris also pointed out the big impact will be who former President Donald Trump supports when it comes to the Republican primary. He has not endorsed anyone at this time.