Polling shows both primaries for attorney general in a virtual tie


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Both primaries for attorney general are close with less than a week before election day, new polling from St. Louis television station KSDK  and SurveyUSA shows.

In the fiercely contested Republican primary, Sen. Kurt Schaefer leads University of Missouri professor Josh Hawley 39 percent to 34 percent. 28 percent of voters said they were undecided. The poll’s margin of error is 3.6 percent.

The two have met in a contentious and bitter race, attacking each other over their conservative records and past cases.

Both candidates will have plenty of money to spend to get their message out heading into Tuesday’s primary. They reported more than a $790,000 in cash on hand at Monday’s eight-day out reporting deadline.

It’s the Democratic side of the primary where the polls results were surprising. Despite a nearly three-to-one money disadvantage, former Cass County prosecutor Teresa Hensley leads St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman with a two point lead of 41-39.

Twenty percent of voters said they were undecided.

While the Democrats haven’t flooded the airwaves like Hawley and Schaefer, their campaign has turned negative since Hensley used her only ad to attack Zimmerman. But unlike the Republicans, Zimmerman holds a significant cash-on-hand advantage, with more than $760,000. Hensley had just $45,000 on hand as of Monday’s report.

That’s led Hensley to make an urgent plea to supporters for money, using the poll results as proof she can win the race.

“Here’s the deal:  We don’t have the money to get the points we need on television in the last week. We need to get $94,000 to the TV stations in the next 24 hrs or we lose. Plain and simple,” she wrote in an email to supporters. “I’m re-calling, emailing and texting all of my donors today to ask them to make one more contribution. I’m also asking you. It has to be today. This is not one of those arbitrary email contribution solicits – this is the real thing. Tomorrow will be too late.”