St. Louis, Mo. — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has secured the Republican nomination for United States Senate.
Everything fell into place for the Attorney General. Schmitt was consistent and aggressive in his strategy, if not a little over-aggressive and over-consistent.
He appeared to emerge as the front runner after embattled former Gov. Eric Greitens was sunk by the big money Show me Values PAC and its enormous advertisement buys focusing on Greitens’ alleged spousal abuse.
Schmitt’s ability to appear to voters as a “stronger” Republican than Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (and his ability to avoid being bashed by former President Donald Trump) made him the de-facto front runner after voters got queasy about the Greitens allegations.
Polls in the last week before primary night reliably gave Schmitt an edge over Hartzler, who’s persistent campaigning and ability to siphon votes kept her within striking distance.
Those same week-out polls showed a large percentage of Republican primary voters still left undecided, undecided voters were reliably in the mid-teens. Some pundits predicted that those undecideds could be Greitens voters in disguise, similar to what happened in the 2016 presidential election.
Greitens was ultimately waiting for a Trump endorsement to save him that never came, instead the former President chose to endorse dubiously “ERIC,” with no last name added.
Schmitt’s persistent, and sometimes controversial lawsuits against Missouri schools initially rallied his base but his insistence on the tactic caused his growth to stall. Still, he was consistently the number two behind Greitens for much of the race, waiting on the scandal-laden former Navy SEAL to sink himself.
Schmitt’s advertising, specifically his pledge to put his flamethrower to President Joe Biden’s “socialist agenda,” allowed him to scoop up far-right voters who fled from Greitens.
The Attorney General will go on to face either Trudy Busch Valentine or Lucas Kunce, the Democrat primary is still yet to be decided as of 8:27 p.m.
The last time Missouri elected a Senator, GOP nominee Josh Hawley defeated Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill, who had served in the Senate for over a decade, by nearly six points. FiveThirtyEight rates the Missouri Senate race as “Solid Republican.”
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