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Trump pollster: Greitens leads big in Missouri GOP Senate primary

Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) has a nearly 40-point lead over the next closest contender in the GOP Senate primary, according to an internal survey conducted by former President TrumpDonald TrumpHead of firms that pushed 'Italygate' theory falsely claimed VA mansion was her home: report Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting VA moving to cover gender affirmation surgery through department health care MORE’s pollster.

The survey of 400 GOP primary voters, which was commissioned by the Greitens campaign, finds him at 48 percent support, followed by state Attorney General Eric Schmitt at 11 percent.

Schmitt is the only other announced candidate, but Rep. Ann WagnerAnn Louise WagnerMissouri Republicans move to block Greitens in key Senate race Democratic Kansas City, Mo., mayor eyes Senate run The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - House GOP drama intensifies; BIden sets new vax goal MORE (R-Mo.) pulls 9 percent support and Rep. Jason SmithJason Thomas SmithGAO rules Biden freeze on border wall funds legal House Democrats to kick off .5 trillion spending process without budget Sunday shows preview: Infrastructure expected to dominate as talks continue to drag MORE (R-Mo.) clocks in at 7 percent in the poll. Twenty-six percent of GOP primary voters said they’re undecided.

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The survey was conducted by Trump’s pollsters Tony Fabrizio, David Lee and Travis Tunis.

Greitens jumped into the race last week following Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntExcellence Act will expand mental health and substance use treatment access to millions Overnight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision MORE’s (R-Mo.) decision to retire.

The move came nearly three years after he resigned as governor amid allegations he photographed a woman in the nude without consent as part of an effort to hide an extramarital affair.

Greitens admitted to having an affair with the woman but denied the allegations of blackmail. The charges against him were later dropped and a Missouri panel "found no evidence of wrongdoing" in a separate probe of alleged campaign spending violations.

Some establishment Republicans have warned the scandal could drag Greitens down in the general election and hand Democrats what should be a safely Republican seat.

But the Fabrizio poll finds Greitens with widespread support among Republicans heading into the primary.

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Greitens’s favorability rating is at 64 percent positive and 20 percent negative.

“This is not a case of winning simply based on higher name ID,” Fabrizio wrote. “Greitens is truly the preferred choice on an even playing field.”

Trump remains hugely popular among Missouri Republicans, with 84 percent viewing him favorably.

The poll found Greitens has support from 55 percent of those who view Trump favorably.

Trump has not endorsed in the race but intends to be a factor in scores of primary contests happening across the country.

“He has the ability to be a force in this campaign if he so chooses,” Fabrizio wrote.

The Fabrizio, Lee & Associates survey of 400 GOP primary voters was conducted from March 23 to March 25 and has a 4.9 percentage point margin of error.

This story was updated at 5:13 p.m.