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Statewide Tipsheet: July ’22

  

US SENATE
Republican Roy Blunt is retiring in 2022.

What a race. This has been the most interesting and eventful primary since 2016. You can say what you will about Eric Greitens and everyone has, but you can’t say the lil guy is boring.
The former Governor, who quit after 17 months in office, was the consensus leader through another series of scandals until a Missouri PAC began hitting him with a large multi-thousand point ad buy that has made him slip in the polls. Now the polls….every campaign has a poll that shows their candidate leading the race. I tend to believe polls when I see a trend line connecting three or four and to me that trend line shows Gretiens slipping and Attorney General Schmitt rising. Greitens has probably slipped to near Congresswoman Vicki Hartzler, about 3-4% behind Schmitt.
There hasn’t been any movement in the undecideds which is odd this late and the second tier of the pack has been pretty well locked in place as well with the only movement being State Senate President Dave Schatz moving up a few points after a good amount of spending.

Republicans – LEAN SCHMITT

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt
This was the Schmitt campaign’s plan all along. Climb into 2nd place, wait for Greitens campaign to falter under whatever scandals he gets himself into, then try to hold off the barrage of attacks from the rest of the field to hold on for a win.
Thus far that plan is on course. He now has a lead, albeit a small one, and the most money to spend down the stretch. It’s probably true that some of his more aggressive antics have reached a point where the juice isn’t worth the squeeze, but there is only two more weeks left in the race. The blowtorch ad was about spot on. It spoke to your average Republican primary voter who gets more pissed at Biden every time they drive by a gas pump and was just this side of “oh my god you can’t let that psycho around your kids.”
A Trump endorsement ends the race and elects Schmitt to the senate.

 

Bottom line: That is probably where Schmitt needs to stay in order to run out the clock to a win. Somewhere between your uncle who puts up a facebook post about Trump every time he fills up, and an out of control maniac who you wouldn’t want to ride an elevator with. 

Schmitt for Senate 
Contributions this cycle: $3,558,633.25
Cash on hand: $1,477,265.77
Debt: $0
Cash on hand minus debt: $1,477,265.77
Save Missouri Values PAC
Contributions this calendar year-to-date: $2,935,000.00
Cash on hand: $2,301,402.81

Former Governor Eric Greitens
This is the first tipsheet where the former Governor hasn’t been in the lead. It’s an interesting fact about Missouri Republican primary voters that you can have 100 news articles with credible allegations of domestic violence and child abuse and it barely moves the needle. A Missouri group buys a few thousand points of tv time saying the same thing and they believe the political ad more than the news coverage and Greitens drops 8% in two weeks.
His tv spot of him wanting to shoot RINO’s, a.k.a. anyone who disagrees with woke snowflake Republicans, was hated by all the right people for Greitens and all of the folks who detest him the most played right into his hands. 

He has taken a hit, but now that he isn’t the front runner we will see if Schmitt can withstand the barrage of ads, and if he can get back in the lead. He does have a deposition coming up Wednesday, but I suspect he wiggles out of it. Judge Schneider has been letting Greitens walk all over her from day one on his case. If I had to guess, he sits for a few questions, answers none of them and is back for a real deposition sometime in August, after the primary.
He desperately needs Trump to either stay out of the race or endorse him. His entire campaign has been expressing his love for Trump. A friend of his begged Trump to endorse him during an OAN interview last week and Trump pointed out the obvious, “He is the candidate the democrats want to run against.”
Let me help you out with something if you’re too stupid to already know it, Eric Greitens will vote for Mitch McConnell for Senate leader. He will have some excuse about he opposed him in some closed door vote, but he will ultimately vote for Mitch McConnell. However, if you really are so stupid as to believe him when he says he will not vote for McConnell, then I have some ocean front property in beautiful West Butler County at a price you would love. 

Bottom line: Eric Greitens isn’t trying to get 51% of Missourians to vote for him. He isn’t trying to get 51% of the republican primary voters. He is trying to get 25% of the republican primary vote. He could still lose with a Trump endorsement, he will lose without it. 

Greitens for Senate
Contributions this cycle: $1,488,916.42
Cash on hand: $351,580.43
Debt: $30,000.00
Cash on hand minus debt: $321,580.43
TEAM PAC
Contributions this calendar year-to-date: $0
Cash on hand: $63,673.10
Missouri First Action PAC
Contributions this calendar year-to-date: $1,000,125.00
Cash on hand: $1,397,853.21 

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler
Her plan was always to be a little back in the race and come on at the end. Well, I think her plan called for her to be a little farther along in her rise by now. She is rising, but I think a consensus of the available polling shows her neck and neck with Greitens but a little behind Schmitt. It was always the Greitens plan for Hartzler and Schmitt to divide the anti-domestic violence vote and his plan has worked.
The attack from Trump will set her back. It’s hard to see how Trump would have endorsed her anyway, but you would have thought he wouldn’t have had to attack Senator Hawley’s endorsed candidate like that.
Speaking of Senator Hawley I really thought that his endorsement would pack more of a punch, but it seems that it really hasn’t equated to a bump in the polls and as of now it hasn’t equated to much of a fundraising bounce. Now you have to figure Senator Hawley can turn on the money pretty fast, and I think she will need it. 

Bottom line: She is probably the best person in the race that can win it, but she is going to have to close strong. She is still very much in the race, and now a Trump endorsement of either the tall Eric or the short Eric might knock out one and allow her to train her fire on the other. She can still win, but if I was picking I’d probably rather be one of the Erics right now. 

Hartzler for Senate
Contributions this cycle: $3,339,934.86
Cash on hand: $1,479,319.35
Debts: $0
Cash on hand minus debt: $1,479,319.35
Secure Our Freedom Action Fund
Contributions this calendar year-to-date: $660,500.00
Cash on hand: $240,343.52

Congressman Billy Long
The Congressman from the Republican-primary-vote-rich southwest has been in high single digits from almost the start of the race. That was a fine place to start, but the problem is that he hasn’t been able to move up from there.
He has a lot of the types of voters staying loyal to him in southwest Missouri that would have probably been Hartzler or even Schmitt voters, and the effort to move him out of the race was never going to be effective.
It is still yet to be seen whether or not he spends the money he has or where he spends it, and that might be the difference in a close race.
He has the personality, and the hilarious twitter feed to shake things up. I really think that the main reason there hasn’t been a debate is: 1. Greitens couldn’t stand up to real scrutiny and 2. Schmitt knows that he is too damn funny to be on stage with. 3. Republican primary voters don’t seem inclined to punish a candidate that refuses to debate. 

Bottom line: He needs something to shake up the race in order to get within striking distance. Lucky for him he has the personality to shake up the race. It’s the only reason it’s still within reach for him. 

Long for Senate
Contributions this cycle: $1,268,364.85
Cash on hand: $927,564.60
Debts: $750,000.00
Cash on hand minus debt: $177.564.60

State Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz
He stepped up and self funded a campaign on serious ideas based on his time of being a serious leader in the state Senate. As of now that campaign hasn’t taken off. He has been taking some time to make some decisions the last few days. His campaign’s success, or lack thereof probably says more about the party than Dave Schatz. 

Bottom line: He could invest his money and likely continue to split the non wife-beater vote, or endorse someone one that might lead to one or more to unite behind someone. I’m not sure at this point there is path to winning the race. 

Schatz for Senate
Contributions this cycle: $310,675.44
Cash on hand: $1,345,581.26
Debts: $2,000,000.00
Cash on hand minus debt: $-654,419.26

Mark McCloskey
I can’t help but feel like this is a lost opportunity for McCloskey. I really think that unless something turns around for him that when he looks back on this race he will regret two things: 1. Taking the plea bargain when the Governor had already promised him a pardon, and 2. Not making the machine gun a bigger part of his campaign.
It might be too late unless he taps into his personal wealth or someone invests heavily into the race on his behalf. His organization really never got moving as he burned through staff pretty quickly. I’ve seen him work a room. He has support amongst Republicans but it feels like an organization never developed that support.
Mark McCloskey is talented at connecting with people, and gives a great speech. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him on the ballot again. 

Bottom line: He had the potential to get to the top tier of this race. Gonna need a big break to get there now. 

McCloskey for America 
Contributions this cycle: $1,051,301.47
Cash on hand: $35,965.70
Debts: $5,000.00
Cash on hand minus debt: $30,965.70

Democrats- LEAN BUSCH

Trudy Busch
She has everything you need to compete as a Democrat in a deeply red state, and she has put in the money to put herself at the top of the primary heap. Her name is obviously her greatest asset, and that combined with being a woman in a Democratic primary gives her the edge.
The campaign started off pretty slow, but her list of backers has grown and the better she has shown on the stump the more comfortable that establishment Democratic organizations have been to embrace her as their best chance to compete in the fall. 

Bottom line: I’d say it’s probably a 10% advantage to be a woman in the Democratic primary the first election after Roe was overturned. If she spends her money she should win. 

Busch-Valentine for Senate
Contributions this cycle: $378,573.49
Cash on hand: $782,835.13
Debts: $2,000,000.00
Cash on hand minus debt: $-1,217,164.87

Lucas Kunce
Kunce has run an excellent race. He has shown serious political talent going from a pro-life candidate for State Representative to the darling of Missouri’s left wing in a race for U.S. Senate. The guy is talented, but after catching a good break in seeing former state Senator Scott Sifton leave the race, he caught a bad one with Gussie Busch’s daughter getting in the race and Roe being over-turned while he is running against a woman.  

Bottom line: It wouldn’t surprise me to see Kunce win, in fact, it would surprise me to see him not run very strong. I think he has established himself in the Democratic party whether he wins or not. 

Kunce for Senate
Contributions this cycle: $4,476,180.50
Cash on hand: $870,934.46
Debts: $0
Cash on hand minus debt: $870,934.46

Spencer Toder
Ok, I just kinda like this guy. He is obviously overwhelmingly outspent and doesn’t have the name ID of a Busch, but he is plugging away with a unique campaign of doing service projects, and he has some camping software he is selling to help other Democrats. 

Bottom line: He has a lot of unique ideas and approaches. Obviously, he is the underdog in this race, but I have to say I kinda like him. 

Toder for Senate
Contributions this cycle: $147,743.62
Cash on hand: $528,622.26
Debts: $882,750.00
Cash on hand minus debt: $-354,127.74

STATE AUDITOR

State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick
The sitting Treasurer launched a campaign for another statewide office and obviously started off as the front runner. He came out strong with an endorsement from Governor Parson, and invested $250,000 of his own money in the race.
However, has had to keep his foot on the gas when it comes to raising money as his opponent has been pushing up the cost of the race. He came out with an ad about fishing for waste inside state government.
His PAC responded to a strong fundraising quarter by Gregory by banking $100,000 from the Herzog Group and another $100,000 from school choice people, he hasn’t had to tap into his own money yet. 

Bottom line: He started as the favorite, but is likely going to have to empty his coffers to win this race. Even if he does this will be a close race. 

Fitzpatrick for Missouri
Contributions this cycle: $658,492.67
Cash on hand: $579,172.42
Debts: $250,000.00
Cash on hand minus debt: $329,172
Missourians for a Responsible Budget
Contributions this cycle: $548,730.00
Cash on hand: $238,362.66
Cash on hand minus debt: $238,362

Representative David Gregory
Rep. Gregory has run a hell of a race. By all accounts this shouldn’t have been a race, but by talent and force of will, a.k.a fundraising he has pushed this race into a close one. The fact of the matter is that very few voters, even Republican primary voters, know there is a State Auditor race and few voters know of either candidate. He has hustled to a near fundraising tie with a statewide office holder.
He has put together a solid message around the fact that he is an actual auditor. Now you know a campaign message is hitting when an opponent pushes back on it, as Fitzpatrick did through the Post-Dispatch last week.

 

He has put together a strong fundraising effort, however, it’s gotta sting a little bit to see the charter school folks knife him after he loyally voted with them every single time

Bottom line: Gregory has taken this race from nowhere to a toss-up. As with most things in life it likely comes down to the money. Can he put more on the air than Fitzpatrick?

Gregory for Missouri
Contributions this cycle: $524,768.12
Cash on hand: $389,867.91
Debts: $0
Cash on hand minus debt: $389,867
Show Me Growth PAC
Contributions this cycle: $484,967.00
Cash on hand: $406,867.91
Cash on hand minus debt: $406,867