JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Less than two weeks away from the date set to decide who will assume the mantle left behind by former state senator Ryan Silvey, both candidates have a lot on their minds.
The special election, set on June 5, pits two state representatives against each other, Republican Kevin Corlew vs. Democrat Lauren Arthur, and in one of the last true purple strongholds in the Show-Me State, every vote counts in deciding who the next state senator for District 17 will be.
A recent poll, conducted by MoScout, shows Arthur with a 6-point-lead heading into June. Arthur sits at 47 percent, with Corlew polling at 41 percent just two weeks out from the special election.
But the poll also shows other data, hinting at the effect that the ongoing dealings concerning embattled Republican Governor Eric Greitens might have on conservative candidates at the voting booths.
The poll shows Greitens’ favorability in SD17 at 32 percent, while President Donald Trump’s approval comes in at 44 percent.
The same poll shows Attorney General Josh Hawley at 41 percent, while Democrat incumbent U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill sits at 54 percent.
For Greitens, the numbers seem to resemble that of another recent poll, putting statewide numbers for the Republican governor at about 34 percent, with the President showing 50 percent favorability.
Crosstabs show 38% Democrats polled, 41% Republicans polled, and 21% non-partisan. The margin of error on the MoScout poll is 4.4% with 95% level of confidence.
Some analysts point to Greitens as the reason for why Corlew could be trailing behind in the poll, that the continuing distractions related to the governor are having a negative effect on Republicans. Others say that the coupling of Greitens’ ongoing troubles and the #MeToo movement have given Arthur, an already strong Democratic candidate with significant fundraising power, another boost.
Whatever the case, both candidates are hitting the streets as the election draws near.
— Kevin Corlew (@KevinCorlew) May 20, 2018
— Clay County GOP (@claycountygop) May 20, 2018
We had an amazing crowd at yesterday’s rally at @ChickenNPickle. Thanks to everyone for the support, and special thanks to @JasonKander, @s_webber, @MayorSlyJames, and @QuintonLucasKC. Only two more weeks until the special election for State Senate District 17! #moleg pic.twitter.com/rknCHi2QvU
— Lauren Arthur (@RepLaurenArthur) May 20, 2018
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 email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.