JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Democratic Governors Association (DGA) said it has “excitement” about the 2020 Missouri gubernatorial race — but specifically pointed to the ongoing abortion fight as having the potential to “drastically alter” the contest, according to a memo obtained by The Missouri Times.
The national Democratic gubernatorial campaign organization said its polling of 921 likely voters earlier this month pointed to a “huge problem” for Republican Gov. Mike Parson over abortion.
Parson faces Auditor Nicole Galloway, a Democrat, in the campaign.
According to the memo, 20 percent of Republicans and 20 percent of voters who supported President Trump said the abortion law Parson signed earlier this year “will make them less likely to support” Parson in 2020. Additionally, 60 percent of independent voters pointed to the law as a reason for not supporting him in the upcoming election.
Parson signed earlier this year one of the nation’s strictest abortion laws, banning the procedure after eight weeks. It included nestled components prohibiting abortions at 14, 18, and 20 weeks — designed to withstand court challenges.
However, just before it was set to go into effect, U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs, appointed to the court by former President Jimmy Carter, blocked the law.
The state has appealed.
Missouri Republican Party Executive Director Jean Evans pointed to Parson’s high favorability in Missouri, saying his tenure at the helm of Missouri has been one of “peace and quiet and wage growth and job growth.”
“When you’re trying to persuade people and paint him as some kind of criminal, that’s going to be difficult because he’s already defined himself as a likable person who is committed to the state and has steadied the ship, so to speak,” Evans told The Missouri Times.
Aside from the abortion issue, the DGA memo claimed Parson “has not cemented his position among Missouri voters.” It said four in 10 Missourians cannot “rate the job he is doing.”
“The results show the race is wide open, Republican Governor Mike Parson is vulnerable, State Auditor Nicole Galloway has unique cross-party appeal, and with the right resources this race will be close until the finish,” the two-page memo, dated Nov. 20, said.
The DGA, chaired by Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, said it surveyed 921 likely 2020 voters from Nov. 14-15. However, it did not specify a further breakdown of the demographics of those polled.
Trump has already endorsed Parson for a full term in office.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is the editor of The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in early 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City.
Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S., including the 2016 presidential election, and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa and the Middle East.
She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is also an alumna of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.
Contact Kaitlyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.