Two polls released on Monday show that a potential match up in November between incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Republican State Attorney General Josh Hawley in the Missouri Senate race is a statistical tie.
An Emerson College Poll released Monday gives each candidate 45 percent support, while an internal Hawley campaign poll shows Hawley has a one point lead over McCaskill, 47 percent to 46 percent, within the poll’s margin of error.
McCaskill is one of ten Democratic senators up for re-election this fall in a state President Trump won in 2016.
“Both US Senate Candidates are polarizing figures for voters with McCaskill having a 42% favorable and 42% unfavorable rating, while Hawley is generally less known in the State and had a 29% unfavorable and 27% favorable rating,” the Emerson College Poll said in a statement accompanying the poll’s release.
The poll was conducted of 600 likely voters between April 26 and 29, and has a margin of error of 4.2 percent. “The data was weighted by party affiliation, gender, region, and mode based on a registered voter model. Data was collected using both an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines only and an online panel provided by Survey Sampling International (SSI),” according to the statement’s description of the polls methodology.
“Though Hawley has a competitive general election ahead of him, he is facing little trouble in the GOP primary to take on McCaskill,” the Emerson Poll said of the August 7 Republican U.S. Senate primary in Missouri, adding:
Hawley leads the Republican primary with 37% of the vote, near 30 percentage points ahead of second-place finisher and 2016 Libertarian Presidential candidate-turned Republican Senate candidate Austin Petersen at 8%. Courtland Sykes, who made headlines earlier this year after making controversial remarks regarding feminism, is at 6%, with 5% opting for “someone else.” Interestingly, 45% of Republican primary voters remain undecided.
The sample size of likely Republican primary voters was 283, giving the results a 6 percent margin of error.
In the head-to-head between Hawley and McCaskill, the internal Hawley campaign poll found similar results.
“Last week we went into the field with our regularly scheduled brushfire survey. I’m pleased to report that Senator Claire McCaskill remains one of the most vulnerable senators this cycle. The race remains statistically tied at 47% for Josh Hawley and 46% for Senator McCaskill,” pollster Wes Anderson from OnMessage Inc., wrote in a memorandum to the Hawley Campaign Leadership team on Monday.
“The main reason for Senator McCaskill’s inability to increase her ballot share is her almost universal name ID. After two terms, the voters have seen what Claire McCaskill has to offer and they do not like it. Due to that fact, if the election where held today Josh Hawley would almost certainly take the lion’s share of the 7% of voters who remain undecided,” Anderson added.
Both polls also looked at two other issues on the minds of voters in Missouri: President Trump’s job approval, and the status of Gov. Eric Greitens, who is mired in a personal scandal.
As for President Trump, the Emerson College Poll found that “President Trump is just above water with Missouri voters, with a 47% approval rating and 45% disapproval. This represents a major loss of ground for the President, who won the Show-Me State in 2016 by 19%, with 57% of the vote.”
The internal Hawley campaign poll gave Trump a better approval rating in the state.
“President Trump’s job approval is solidly right side up with 53% of voters approving of the job he is doing. Further, voters remain supportive of having President Trump and Republicans lead the country versus the choice of having Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats in charge. On the generic ballot, the Republican holds a three-point lead over the Democrat,” pollster Anderson wrote.
Fifty-three percent of Missouri voters approve of President Trump’s job performance, while 45 percent disapprove, a net positive approval rating of eight points, six points higher than the net positive approval rating of two points in the Emerson College Poll.
Both polls had bad news for Gov. Greitens.
The Emerson College Poll reported the following results:
Governor Eric Greitens, currently reeling from multiple scandals involving infidelity, blackmail, and campaign finance violations, has an approval rating of 33%, with 46% disapproving. When asked what the Governor should do next, 36% want the Governor to resign, 33% want the governor to remain in office, and 18% want him impeached, which means that 54% of Missouri voters want Greitens out as Governor.
The internal Hawley campaign poll found that “[f]or the first time in our polling of this race, a majority of the voters hold an unfavorable opinion of the Governor. Greitens’ image is now upside down among Independents as his negatives have increased 14 points among the group since January.”
In January, 41 percent of Missouri voters had a favorable impression of Gov. Greitens, while 40 percent had an unfavorable impression, a net favorable rating of plus one.
In April, however, only 31 percent had a favorable impression, while 51 percent had an unfavorable impression, a net unfavorable rating of negative twenty.