JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – One week out from Election Day, and the Missouri gubernatorial race is close.
A surprisingly small new poll by the Monmouth University Polling Institute shows Eric Greitens and Chris Koster tied at 46 percent each.
— MonmouthPoll (@MonmouthPoll) November 1, 2016
A release from the university says:
“The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from October 28 to 31, 2016 with 405 Missouri residents likely to vote in the November election. This sample has a margin of error of + 4.9 percent.”
Typically, polls of statewide candidates in Missouri must have at least 600 participants to be viable.
Greitens’ campaign manager Austin Chamber released the following statement, saying “Voters are rejecting Chris Koster because he’s just like Hillary Clinton – crooked and corrupt. He wants to expand Obamacare, so Hillary is spending $500K to try to save his failing campaign.”
Neck and neck in the race, both candidates continue to campaign around the state this week in hopes of picking up enough votes to swing the race in their favor.
Greitens spent Tuesday in the southern half of Missouri, hosting town hall events in Leadington, Ironton, Piedmont, Poplar Bluff and West Plains. The Republican spoke to voters on his plans for more jobs, higher pay and better schools in Missouri. He also spoke about his opposition to Medicaid expansion.
Koster attended a rural electric cooperative roundtable discussion in Sikeston. While there, Koster discussed the role of Missouri’s electric cooperatives in rural economic development. Koster says he plans to expand broadband access, which will require help from the state’s electric cooperatives.
Missouri Republicans are accusing Koster of taking money from payday lenders during his campaigns for attorney general. They say that, in exchange, Koster was supposed to go easy on the lenders.
— Koster Cash (@KosterCash) November 1, 2016
Missouri Ethics Commission records show that, since 2007, Koster received roughly $200,000 in contributions from individuals and companies involved in the payday loan industry.
Koster’s campaign spokesman David Turner told the KC Star in an email that the allegations are unfounded. He says Koster has returned more than $115,000 during this campaign cycle due to conflict of interests. Turner also told the Star that Koster has taken a number of actions against payday lenders, including the shutdown of eight operations in 2015.
As for campaign finances, both candidates received a treat on Halloween.
Koster received a $132,906 check from the Missouri Democratic State Committee on Monday. Two organizations also contributed a total of $40,000. Two other donors added a total of $20,000 to the Koster for Missouri fund on Tuesday.
Greitens won the day with a large donation of $275,000 from David Humphreys and another sizable donation of $100,000 from Herzog Railroad Services, Inc. Greitens rounded out at $390,001 on the day, thanks to two donations from individuals contributing another combined $15,001.
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.