JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Attorney Chris Koster stretched his lead over Eric Greitens in the latest Missouri Times poll in the race for governor. In the two other races polled, former U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan held a 4 point lead over Sen. Mike Parson in the race for lieutenant governor while Sen. Eric Schmitt took an 11 point lead over former state Rep. Judy Baker in the campaign for state treasurer.
In the governor’s race, Koster’s 49-41 lead could be attributed to his endorsement from the National Rifle Association last week.
“I think that has something to do with it. I really do,” said Rep. Tim Remole, R-Excello, on the #MOLeg podcast discussing the poll results. “As the campaign moves on, we’ll see. Anything can happen at this point.”
Lobbyist Alex Eaton of the Catalyst Group thinks the 8 point lead could be the largest we see in the governor race.
“Right after the primary, 8 points is pretty wide. I think as we get into the major push, that will shrink and get tighter as it gets closer,” he said on the podcast. “But if it swings Greitens 8 points, then there’s going to be a huge Republican wave and I just don’t see that happening.”
Meanwhile, in the race for lieutenant governor, Carnahan held a 44-40 lead over Parson with 16 percent of voters undecided. Some thought Carnahan’s lead could be larger given his statewide name ID and Parson’s bruising primary.
Parson’s rural strengths could be giving him a boost. In the bootheel, Remole said “Mike Parson is really holding our area pretty strongly.”
Eaton said that given his experience working for Parson, nobody’s going to outwork the senator.
“I would say, 4 points with the Carnahan name, I think Sen. Parson has to be happy with that as it tightens. Russ Carnahan has a pretty bad record from D.C. so I think that will tighten and we’ll see.”
In the final race polled this week, the Republican Schmitt held a double-digit lead over Baker, 48-37 with 15 percent of voters undecided.
“I am very confident that he is going to run a good positive campaign and I expect good things out of that race,” Remole said.
In the poll, Schmitt held his own in the St. Louis media market and that could put Baker in a tough spot trying to play catch up, especially with Schmitt’s nearly 4-to-1 money advantage.
“I think the money advantage is huge here,” Eaton said. “Sen. Schmitt didn’t have a primary and he’s been stockpiling money, so he’s doing very well right now.”
604 people were polled across Missouri – 48 in Columbia, 30 in Joplin, 129 in Kansas City, 12 in the Kirksville/Hannibal area, 26 in Cape Girardeau, 103 in Springfield, 12 in St. Joseph and 236 in St Louis. The poll was conducted by Gravis Polling.