St. Joseph, Mo. — The Republican primary for the great Northwest may have become a one-man race. A poll conducted the Great Northwest Political Action Committee (PAC) shows Rep. Rusty Black, R-Chillicothe, with a sizeable lead.
The PAC, which supports Black financially, polled 452 likely Republican voters in Senate District (SD) 12. SD 12 is currently represented by Sen. Dan Hegeman, who is term-limited.
Black leads by a 24 point margin in the poll, with 38% of respondents saying they’d vote for him if the primary happened today. Rep. J. Eggleston, R-Maysville, garnered 14% of the respondents’ vote and former Rep. Delus Johnson scored 6%.
42% of the voters polled remain undecided.
39% percent of respondents said they had a favorable impression of Black, 9% held a negative impression of him and 52% had no opinion. Eggleston, Black’s main competition, had 25% of respondents respond favorably to him, 10% had a negative impression of him and 65% had no opinion.
Even with a fairly large margin of error of 4.5%, the numbers are definitive, designating Black as the clear favorite with the primary less than a month away.
Black has traveled all across the sprawling SD 12, which includes 18 and a half counties, to grow his relationships outside of Chillicothe. He views it as re-engaging old friendships.
“Campaigning in this district means travel,” Black said on a phone call while campaigning in Albany, Mo. “I’m out here trying to remind folks who Rusty Black is.”
The widespread day-to-day campaigning has seemed to work for Black. He dominates his own House District (HD) 7, which includes Chillicothe, scoring 61% of the respondents’ vote.
However, he also polls toe-for-toe with Johnson and Eggleston on their home turf.
In Eggleston’s House District 2, Black holds a slim 1 point advantage. In Johnson’s House District 9, where he served in the House from 2010-2018, Black holds a 5 point lead.
Black doesn’t want to grow complacent with his momentum. He has already spent about a $120,000 on radio ads and has been coming over the airwaves for the last two weeks, often criticizing President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama.
Black is working on potentially bolstering his TV presence.
“The real poll that’s going to count is the one held on August 2nd,” Black said. “What’s going to matter is this — Am I going to do things that do no harm to agriculture and benefit District 12?”
Featured Image courtesy of Rep. Rusty Black
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