The Missouri Senate race has garnered since President Donald Trump won the state by more than 18 points in 2016. Polls have shown that McCaskill faces a tough race against state Attorney General Josh Hawley, who more than likely will be her GOP opponent.

Politico thinks McCaskill can slide on through re-election thanks to the scandals that surround Missouri Republican Governor Eric Greitens. But it looks like the publication could be reaching.

Politico reported:

Greitens was indicted in February for allegedly taking a nonconsensual nude photograph of a former lover, and the woman testified under oath that Greitens had a forced sexual encounter with her. As if that weren’t bad enough for the GOP, Greitens is refusing to step down, thrusting two of the most prominent Republican elected officials in the state into open warfare.

Hawley demanded that Greitens resign and triggered a new investigation into the governor’s fundraising, resulting in a second indictment last week. Greitens has fired back by seeking a restraining order against the attorney general, saying that Hawley’s call for resignation meant he could not conduct an impartial investigation of the governor.

The scandals are damaging the GOP at the most critical interval of its six-year wait to unseat McCaskill.

“[Greitens] is jeopardizing the whole Republican Party of Missouri,” said Rob Jesmer, a top Republican consultant who was executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee when Akin made his infamous comments about rape and abortion during McCaskill’s last campaign.

Okay, yes, having a governor swimming in scandals can harm the party, but will it actually affect Hawley? A poll released on April 12 shows the two basically tied. From The Washington Examiner:

A Mason-Dixon Poll conducted April 4-6 among 625 registered voters found McCaskill and Hawley are in a dead heat, 45 to 44 percent, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Eleven percent of respondents said they were undecided, and the margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points. “Independent voters,” the pollsters said, “are equally divided between the two candidates.”

McCaskill came in just below Trump’s favorability rating, with 41 percent favorable versus 39 percent unfavorable, to the president’s 44-38. Hawley, who technically still has to win the GOP primary in August, was unknown to about one in six voters, while one in five were neutral on McCaskill.

The Cook Political Report still has the Senate race as a toss-up. RealClearPolitics’ average is McCaskill up by +2.3, but also considers the race as a tossup.

The GOP primary takes place on August 7. Hawley is the favorite as he leads his opponents in fundraising and received endorsements from Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Hawley’s Actions

Politico mentioned in passing what Hawley has done since Greiten’s scandals emerged.

On April 12, Hawley demanded the governor resign after a state House committee released a report on its investigation into Governor Greiten’s scandals. From CNBC:

In a statement, Hawley went as far as calling explosive allegations against Gov. Eric Greitens detailed in a new report “impeachable.”

“The conduct the Report details is certainly impeachable, in my judgment, and the House is well within its rights to proceed on that front,” Hawley said. “But the people of Missouri should not be put through that ordeal. Governor Greitens should resign immediately.”

Last week, Hawley launched another investigation against Greitens for allegedly “obtaining a charity donor list without permission.” From CNN:

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced that his office had “uncovered evidence of wrongdoing” by the governor that he could be charged or prosecuted for related to an investigation into a veterans charity Greitens founded.

Hawley told reporters at a news conference that his office had found evidence that the governor obtained an electronic donor list from the charity The Mission Continues without permission and used the internal list for “political fundraising.”

“If proven, these acts could amount to the unauthorized taking and use of property — in this case electronic property. Under Missouri law, this is known as computer tampering and given the value of the list in question, it is a felony,” Hawley said.

The relationship between Hawley and Greitens has soured so much that Greitens filed a temporary restraining order against Hawley. The filing “requests the appointment of an independent prosecutor to take over the attorney general’s investigation into the governor’s ties” with the charity. Greitens and his lawyer believe that Hawley cannot remain impartial in the investigation.

If anything, what Hawley has done and said should give him more respect from the Missouri voters.

I wouldn’t be shocked if McCaskill wins in November. It’s hard to beat an incumbent in any race, but I still think Hawley will come out on top and his decisions on Greitens may actually help him in the long run.


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