There has been much talk over the past year among analysts and political pundits about a “Blue Wave” of liberal voters in the 2018 midterm elections who will reclaim Democrat control of the House and possibly even the Senate.
While that “wave” of voters may hold true in deep blue states, it’s looking increasingly unlikely across the rest of the nation, particularly in the state of Missouri, where Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill is up for re-election in a state President Donald Trump won handily.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a Morning Consult poll released in early May revealed that a majority of Missourians wanted a new senator to represent them, with 53 percent saying it was “time for a new person” and only 29 percent saying McCaskill deserved to be re-elected.
That poll also showed McCaskill had an approval rating of 38 percent — the lowest among all incumbent Democrat senators across the nation — and a disapproval rating of 45 percent.
The poll canvassed 6,760 registered voters in Missouri over the course of three months, and showed the senator was running virtually neck-and-neck with her chief Republican challenger, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley.
The Real Clear Politics polling average for the Missouri Senate race currently lists the state as a “toss up” and gave McCaskill a slight 1.7-point lead over Hawley, 45 percent to 43.3 percent.
However, the Springfield News-Leader just reported on the release of a new poll that showed McCaskill losing not only to the favored GOP candidate Hawley by 7 points, but also to an outsider libertarian-turned-Republican candidate named Austin Peterson by a whopping 16 percentage points.
That poll was conducted by Gravis Marketing and was commissioned by Peterson’s campaign, the first poll the campaign has conducted
Peterson touts himself as a “pro-life, pro-liberty, pro-Constitution candidate” who is also pro-Second Amendment. He pointed out that the poll showed he fared much better among voters aged 18-29 against McCaskill than Hawley did among the same set of voters.
“Both (Hawley and McCaskill) have shown themselves to be ladder-climbing career politicians who prioritize professional gain over honest representation of the electorate,” Petersen said after the poll was released.
“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,” the young candidate added.
It is worth noting that a previous Gravis poll from early March — which did not include Peterson — showed McCaskill with a 2-point lead over Hawley at that time, meaning her chances at re-election have diminished significantly over the past two months.
The Open Secrets website showed that as of March 31 McCaskill maintained a huge lead over all of her challengers in terms of fundraising, with $17.5 million raised and $11.5 million in cash on hand.
Meanwhile, GOP favorite Hawley had raised roughly $3.2 million and had $2.1 million cash on hand, and Peterson trailed far behind with only $433,000 raised and a mere $71,000 cash on hand.
Despite that gargantuan financial edge over her two main GOP opponents, McCaskill is still in grave danger of losing her Senate seat to either of them, proving once again that money in politics isn’t everything among voters more concerned about important issues — a lesson that was made abundantly clear during the 2016 presidential election.
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