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 Trump’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 Wagner (R-Mo.) pulls 9 percent support and Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) clocks in at 7 percent in the poll. Twenty-six percent of GOP primary voters said they’re undecided.
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 Blunt’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.
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.