Governor: LEAN KOSTER
Latest Missouri Times Poll: Koster 48% – Greitens 41%
This is close to being a toss-up, but Koster has shown a consistent above-the-margin-of-error lead. However, after several weeks of responding to attacks on his charity, attacking Republicans and conservative groups who were endorsing his opponent, and getting boxed into reneging on releasing his tax returns, Greitens has landed on the attack that is probably his sweet spot: 1) Obamacare and 2) Hillary Clinton.
Koster has the chance to win because of his conservative track record with the Farm Bureau and the NRA which makes him harder to pigeonhole into the liberal box that has won elections for Republicans the past three cycles. However, Greitens seems to be running a Southern Missouri campaign with a dash of St. Louis suburb strategy of hanging the toxic and unpopular Obamacare around Koster’s neck. Oddly enough, Koster still touts his support for Medicaid expansion, which garners as much support as gun control in the General Assembly, on his social media feeds.
Koster seems to have a decision to make on how he responds. With the NRA endorsement, he can claim that he is the best man to tell the Washington liberals that they will only take Missourahians guns from his “cold dead hands” and he did sue Obama over Obamacare. Also, Greitens can be attacked as a liberal himself, and if Koster is successful in continuing to depress his margins among Republicans, then he has a clear path to victory. It will be a fun three weeks and don’t be surprised if our final tip sheet shows the race as a toss-up.
Attorney General Chris Koster
- Contributions this period: $3,272,000
- Contributions this election: $22,324,000
- Cash on hand: $6,586,000
- Contributions this period: $4,171,000
- Contributions this election: $17,359,000
- Cash on hand: $2,716,000
Lieutenant Governor: TOSS UP
Latest Missouri Times Poll: Carnahan 44% – Parson 43%
This is the down-ballot race where the Democrats have the best chance with the son of beloved Gov. Mel Carnahan and former Congressman in his own right Russ Carnahan. However, Sen. Parson fought through a grueling primary where he got nearly $1.5 million of name ID, and he is on a ticket that might be lead with Trump +8 or 9.
The biggest surprise of the quarterly reports was probably that Sen. Parson had surpassed Carnahan in fundraising and had more than twice his total on hand. Conventional wisdom is that you would have favored Carnahan by a hair, but with Parson having such a big fundraising advantage, it’s too close to call. You could make an argument the race could go either way, but a game changer would be a six-figure check to Carnahan.
Former U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan
- Contributions this period: $306,000
- Contributions this election: $1,060,000
- Cash on hand: $209,000
Sen. Mike Parson
- Contributions this period: $525,000
- Contributions this election: $538,872
- Cash on hand: $501,000
Attorney General: LEAN HAWLEY
Latest Missouri Times Poll: Hawley 48% – Hensley 42%
Hawley may not be a career politician, but he is good at running for office. It’s pretty clear that the folks who funded his primary win are writing checks in the general, and Hawley’s doing everything he needs to do to win.
However, the attack on him will again be that he hasn’t prosecuted a case. Only this time his opponent has a lengthy track record as Cass County Prosecuting Attorney. Hensley is an attractive candidate but is going to need Clinton to close some of the gap at the top of the ticket and some of her donors to help close the fundraising gap to pass Hawley.
- Contributions this period: $1,091,000
- Contributions this election: $2,273,000
- Cash on hand: $1,148,000
- Contributions this period: $3,271,000
- Contributions this election: $3,279,000
- Cash on hand: $4,323,000
Secretary of State: LIKELY ASHCROFT
Latest Missouri Times Poll: Ashcroft 48% – Smith 38%
The Ashcroft name may have even more ring to Missourians than the Carnahan name, and Jay Ashcroft happens to be one of the nicest people on the ballot to boot. However, the one fact that should worry Ashcroft the most is that he is only $50,000 ahead of Smith in fundraising.
Granted, Ashcroft had to fight a competitive primary and started the general election at zero, but you would have to assume that this office is important enough to Republicans who may be putting several items on the 2018 ballot including Right-to-Work to invest in a likely winner in Ashcroft.
We had this race at a lean until Smith’s former campaign consultant unloaded a string of explosive accusations including campaign finance violations – not exactly a selling point to become the state’s chief election official. Smith is hanging with Ashcroft in fundraising but needs to have her house in order to compete down the stretch.
- Contributions this period: $58,000
- Contributions this election: $603,000
- Cash on hand: $349,000
- Contributions this period: $354,000
- Contributions this election: $1,256,000
- Cash on hand: $397,000
State Treasurer: LIKELY SCHMITT
Latest Missouri Times Poll: Schmitt 49% – Baker 40%
Schmitt was first up on television, and you should be when you have a 7-to-1 cash advantage going into the last 20 days. It was telling that the ad was biographical, aimed at independents and Schmitt wasn’t having to preach to the choir. Schmitt has several campaign offices open and sits ready to run up the score in television points in the final stretch.
Baker took this race on knowing that she would be heavily outspent. She has run a good campaign, and if the Democratic ticket takes off she has worked into a position to ride a wave, but she will either need some help from that wave or some serious fundraising to kick in down the stretch.
Former Rep. Judy Baker
- Contributions this period: $152,000
- Contributions this election: $152,000
- Cash on hand: $350,000
Sen. Eric Schmitt
- Contributions this period: $158,000
- Contributions this election: $166,000
- Cash on hand: $2,540,000