Exclusive KMOV Poll: Greitens leads GOP candidates ahead of Mo. senate primary; Kunce leads Democratic ticket

Published: May. 17, 2022 at 4:24 PM CDT|Updated: May. 17, 2022 at 6:00 PM CDT
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MISSOURI (KFVS/KMOV) - Former Governor Eric Greitens is leading the other candidates ahead of the primary for the U.S. Senate seat for Missouri, an exclusive KMOV poll shows.

The poll, conducted by SurveryUSA and released Tuesday, found Greitens takes 26 percent of the vote.

Incumbent Attorney General Eric Schmitt had 17 percent, followed by incumbent U.S. Representative Vicky Hartzler with 11 percent and U.S. Representative Billy Long with 7 percent.

Each of the other 16 candidates on the ballot polled at 2 percent or less, while 28 percent of likely voters were undecided.

Where the GOP candidates fell regionally/topically

In southeast Missouri, Greitens took 46 percent of the vote, more than 4:1 ahead of Schmitt.

Schmitt polled better in suburban parts of the state at 24 percent.

Schmitt and Greitens are tied in greater St. Louis.

In Northern Missouri, Hartzler polled 11 percent overall, just behind Greitens at 29 percent.

Long outpolled his overall average of 7 percent only in southwestern Missouri, where the 7th Congressional District is based. He has represented the 7th District since 2011.

Among “very conservative” voters, the exclusive poll found Greitens polled at 38 percent, compared to 14 percent for Schmitt.

Greitens also led at 34 percent among voters who say the endorsement of former President Donald Trump makes them more likely to vote for a candidate. Among the 21 percent of likely Republican primary voters who say abortions should be illegal under all circumstances, he received 31 percent. He also polled better among men, among those with lower household incomes and in rural parts of the state, each of which gave Greitens 30 percent of the vote.

The exclusive poll found that of likely voters who say they are “certain” to vote in the Republican primary, Greitens led Schmitt by 13 points, and led Hartzler by 16 points; among those who say they will “probably” vote, Greitens and Schmitt tie with 18 percent for each, 11 points ahead of Hartzler.

Among those with household incomes more than $80K a year, which is 30 percent of the November electorate, Greitens polled an average of 16 points behind the other GOP candidates. Hartzler and Schmitt led by an average of 7.5 percentage points among those upper-income voters; Greitens trailed by an average of 8.5 percent.

Democratic Primary

The polling found Lucas Kunce currently takes 10 percent of the vote in the Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate.

Trudy Busch Valentine is next at 8 percent and the nine other candidates each take 3 percent or less of the vote.

The poll found 63 percent of likely voters are undecided. They say this large of a percentage of undecided typically means voters are not focused on this contest, and that many of those who currently say they are certain to vote in the primary are doing so with a focus on other, more local contests on the ballot.

Where the Democratic candidates fell regionally/topically

Kunce led Valentine by 11 points among voters who describe themselves as “very liberal,” by 8 points in greater Kansas City; and by 7 in rural Missouri.

According to the poll, Valentine led by 6 points among the 15 percent of likely Democratic primary voters who describe themselves as political independents, by 3 points in greater St. Louis and by 2 points in southwestern Missouri.

Spencer Toder, at 3 percent overall, led the field with 10 percent among the 1 in 10 Democratic primary voters who say they are conservatives.

Kunce led Valentine by 5 points among those who say they are certain to vote in the Democratic primary; Valentine led by 7 among those who say they will probably vote.

Among men, Valentine led by 3 and among women, Kunce led by 6, a 9-point gender gap.

The poll found Kunce led Valentine by 5 points among voters over age 65, typically the most reliable; and the race is tied among Kunce, Valentine and Toder with the youngest voters, typically the least reliable.

Hypothetical matchups

Looking ahead to the November general election, pollsters asked likely November voters how they would vote in hypothetical matchups between the leading Republican and Democratic candidates. They found Republicans led in each of the six potential races.

Should Trudy Busch Valentine be the Democratic nominee:

  • Eric Schmitt defeats Valentine by 13 points, 47 percent to 34 percent, with 19 percent undecided
  • Vicky Hartzler defeats Valentine by 11 points, 44 percent to 33 percent, with 23 percent undecided
  • Eric Greitens leads Valentine with 6 points, 43 percent to 37 percent, with 20 percent undecided

If Lucas Kunce is the Democratic nominee:

  • Eric Schmitt defeats Kunce by 12 points, 46 percent to 34 percent, with 19 percent undecided
  • Vicky Hartzler defeats Kunce by 14 points, 45 percent to 31 percent, with 24 percent undecided
  • Eric Greitens leads Kunce by 6 points, 42 percent to 36 percent, with 22 percent undecided

Greitens responds to results

In an interview after the poll results were released, Greitens stated the poll shows “people are supporting me and their supporting my candidacy because they recognize that we’re really willing to fight for change.” He also stated he was the first candidate in the country to say they would vote against Mitch McConnell “because we need new America first leadership.”

Greitens then named some organizations and people who have endorsed his candidacy and said he feels confident that conservative undecided voters who are favorable towards President Donald Trump will support his America first campaign. He also stated that getting Trump’s endorsement is important to him because it is “probably one of the most important factors in this race.” The former president has not announced an endorsement in the race.

When asked if he would be open to a debate, Greitens said he would “welcome the opportunity to have a substantive, clear debate on the policy issues facing the country and talk about where we need to go from here.”

About the Poll

The SurveyUSA polling was conducted exclusively for Gray Televisions’ stations (KMOV-TV in St. Louis, KCTV-TV in Kansas City, KYTV-TV in Springfield, KFVS-TV in Cape Girardeau, Mo., WGEM-TV in Quincy, Ill.; KYOU-TV in Ottumwa, Iowa) and KOAM-TV in Pittsburg, Kan.

SurveyUSA interviewed 2,175 Missouri adults online May 11-15, 2022, using sample provided by Lucid Holdings LLC of New Orleans.

Of the adults, 1,782 were identified as being registered to vote. Of the registered voters, 642 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the August 2 Republican primary; 500 were determined to be likely to vote in the Aug. 2 Democratic primary; 1,412 were determined to be likely to vote in the November 8 general election.

The pool of adult survey respondents was weighted to U.S. Census targets for gender, age, race, education and home ownership.