Missouri Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill trails not one but two Republican challengers in head-to-head matchups, according to a poll released Tuesday.
The poll by Gravis Marketing — commissioned by Republican candidate Austin Peterson — shows the incumbent trailing state Attorney General Josh Hawley and libertarian-leaning Petersen by more than the margin of error.
Petersen (R) 56% (+16)
McCaskill (D – Incumbent) 40%
— Political Polls (@PpollingNumbers) May 23, 2018
“In the first match-up, Hawley was picked by 50 percent of respondents and McCaskill was chosen by 43 percent. In the second, 56 percent of respondents chose Petersen, and 40 percent picked McCaskill. The margin of error for the survey was 3.4 percentage points,” reports USA Today.
In response to the poll, Petersen said, “Both (Hawley and McCaskill) have shown themselves to be ladder-climbing career politicians who prioritize professional gain over honest representation of the electorate.
“After nearly a year of hearing Missourians express their frustration with the insider politics in Jefferson City and Washington on the campaign trail, I can’t say I’m surprised by these results.”
Last week, a Morning Consult poll showed more than half of Missourians say they want McCaskill to go, with the Democrat registering an approval rating of just 38 percent. That figure gives her the lowest job-approval numbers of all her incumbent Democrat colleagues up for election in states won by Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
Despite leading the Republican field, Hawley’s conservative critics describe his campaign as listless and disengaged, often opting to lift weights at the gym instead of meeting with Missouri political leaders.
Hawley’s snubs have antagonized potential allies. Wagner, a former Missouri GOP chair and George W. Bush-era U.S. ambassador who has deep ties to the state’s political and donor class, took herself out of Senate contention more than 10 months ago. Yet Hawley still hasn’t asked her for her support or taken steps to smooth things over with the suburban St. Louis congresswoman, who many believe withdrew after recognizing that Hawley was the party’s first choice. In doing so, he’s left himself without an ally who could have otherwise worked the state aggressively on his behalf.
“I am personally baffled and disappointed that the guy I’ve had on my show numerous times over the last four years and have been supportive of has been MIA,” St. Louis radio show host Mark Reardon told POLITICO.
“I’m pissed. I’m frustrated.”
“I like the guy; I think he’d be a good U.S. senator,” Reardon added.
“But this worries me. I don’t like the pattern.”