U.S. Senate candidates campaign across Missouri as one unknown factor still hangs in the balance

Polls show leaders are emerging in the race for U.S. Senate. But candidates are still fighting for every vote they can get as others wonder if former President Donald Trump will endorse anyone in the race.
Published: Jul. 31, 2022 at 12:48 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - On Saturday Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt stood in front of a crowd of Republican supporters in Cape Girardeau, Missouri as he seeks a seat in the U.S. Senate. He’s leading multiple polls in the crowded GOP field. But, neither he nor his fellow candidates are letting off the gas as all of them still wait to hear if they’ll get an endorsement from former President Donald Trump.

Exclusive Gray TV polling, conducted by SurveyUSA, shows 44% of Republican voters in the state are more likely to vote for a candidate who has Trump’s backing. That same poll showed Schmitt in the lead for Tuesday’s race with 28% of the vote, followed by former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens with 20%.

“Usually there’s not much you could do to shift the course of events at this point. The one big unknown at this moment is whether former President Trump will try to endorse in this race. He hasn’t given a positive endorsement in this race so far...” said Peverill Squire, University Of Missouri, “...but if he were to come in and support Schmitt that would certainly cement Schmitt’s apparent lead. He might be able to help Greitens if Greitens is as close as he appears to be, but he’s the one sort of outside event that could intervene.”

As for Trump’s endorsement, Schmitt said “I would love to have it and certainly we’ve had great conversations with President Trump and (I’m) really the only candidate in this race that’s a true America first fighter. A lot of people talk a good game but either they quit or haven’t done it. And I’ve been fighting alongside President Trump when he was in office.”

Greitens, meanwhile, believes the Trump supporters are with him.

“What we’re finding is the MAGA supporters, the patriots, the American first supporters, are with us in this campaign, and they’re going to be with us on election day,” he said.

Cape Girardeau was Schmitt’s third scheduled stop on Saturday following a breakfast in Poplar Bluff and a meet and greet in Sikeston. Sunday he’ll head to Farmington and then move to Washington and Fenton on Monday.

Schmitt told voters he wants to work for the people.

“In this system, we the people are in charge. Right? They’re the sovereign. And, they can send people there. They can send them home. I think if you keep that in mind and remember who your boss is and why you’re there, you don’t get lost. But, too many people, I think, in D.C. do,” he said.

For Democrats, polling shows Trudy Busch Valentine with 40 percent of the potential vote over second place Lucas Kunce.

Whomever wins the Republican and Democratic ticket for Senate on Tuesday will face off this November.

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