A poll released today from the Committee for Liberty, an independent political action committee supporting Jay Ashcroft’s anticipated run for governor, shows the secretary of state with a 54 percent to 19 percent lead over Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe.
The poll also said 19 percent of voters are undecided in the 2024 gubernatorial election.
The poll was conducted by Patrick Lanne of Public Opinion Strategies from March 8-10 and consisted of 500 completed calls of Missouri Republicans with a margin of error of 4.4 percent.
“Jay Ashcroft leads Mike Kehoe by 35 points, 54%-19%, on the head-to-head ballot. Jay leads with every major subgroup in the poll,” Lanne said. “Jay is winning over 50% of the vote in every major media market in the state, including leading Kehoe by nearly 3-1 in the St. Louis media market.”
The polling memo said Ashcroft, whose father was a governor, U.S. Senator, and U.S. attorney general, has a name known by 93 percent of Missouri Republicans. However, Kehoe’s name is known by 49 percent of Missouri Republicans.
The Kehoe campaign was quick to respond to the release.
“The poll only reflects family name identification which may be enough to get you elected to secretary of state. But the race for governor will be decided on definition. The campaign process will expose voters to both candidates’ records. For example, Jay Ashcroft lost his state Senate race after voters had a chance to learn about both candidates,” said a spokesman for Kehoe’s campaign.
“Mike Kehoe has never lost a race. Voters will learn Mike Kehoe was raised by a single mother along with his four siblings and worked his way from washing cars to owning multiple businesses. They will also see his proven record of leadership has earned him the endorsement of business, agriculture, and law enforcement leaders from throughout Missouri,” the spokesperson continued. “After a few weeks of voters learning about Mike Kehoe, we are confident that substance will carry over family name identification.”
Ashcroft’s lead is the largest in the St. Louis media market whereas Kehoe polls the best in the central Missouri media market where he served as a state senator for eight years.
“Heading into the 2024 Republican gubernatorial primary, Jay Ashcroft is the clear front-runner for the Republican nomination,” Lanne said. “Jay Ashcroft begins with higher name identification and his personal favorable rating is three times higher than his opponent.”
Kehoe has maintained a large fundraising lead and a score of major endorsements since he officially announced for the office last year. Ashcroft has shown some fundraising life this quarter, especially with his PAC bringing in $740,000, while Sen. Bill Eigel is also rumored to be considering the race.