Poll: Blunt’s Lead in Missouri Down to 2 Points

Trump video has little effect on voter opinion in the presidential race

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt has been on a steep slide in his race against Democratic Secretary of State Jason Kander in the Show Me State. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt has been on a steep slide in his race against Democratic Secretary of State Jason Kander in the Show Me State. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted October 13, 2016 at 10:28am

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt‘s lead over Democratic challenger Jason Kander in the Missouri Senate race is down to 2 points, according to a new poll. 

The Monmouth University poll showed Blunt favored by 46 percent of likely Missouri voters and Kander, Missouri’s secretary of state, by 44 percent. Blunt held a 5-point lead in the same poll in August. 

The latest poll was conducted after last Friday’s release of the 2005 recording that showed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump making lewd remarks about women. Blunt reiterated his support for Trump over the weekend, and the poll showed 46 percent of respondents said he should stand by his endorsement, compared to 35 percent who said he should withdraw it.

“Many voters who could swing this election take a dim view of his Trump endorsement,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “On the other hand, a significant portion of his base would not react well if the incumbent turned his back on their party’s presidential nominee.”

The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rates the race as Tilts Republican.

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The gubernatorial race has also tightened since Monmouth’s last poll in the Show-Me State.

Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster holds a 46 percent to 43 percent edge over Republican Eric Greitens, a former Navy SEAL, in this Tossup contest.

Koster held an 11-point lead in August, and the new poll showed Greitens gaining ground among independents — 42 percent supported Koster and 41 percent favored Greitens. Koster had led by 12 points among independents in August. 

In the presidential race, Republican nominee Donald Trump opened a 5-point lead, 46 percent to 41 percent, over Democrat Hillary Clinton. The contest was about even in August with 44 percent for Trump and 43 percent for Clinton.

Murray said Trump’s crass remarks caught on an “Access Hollywood” hot mic hasn’t had much of an impact.   

“That’s probably because few voters were actually surprised to hear Trump say these things,” Murray said.

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The poll also found that 35 percent of Missouri voters felt that what Trump said in the video made him unfit for office. However, 51 percent said that while what he said was inappropriate, it was not necessarily disqualifying. 

The poll surveyed 406 likely Missouri voters by telephone from Oct. 9-11. About one-third of the interviews were done before last Sunday’s presidential debate between Trump and Clinton. The margin of error was 4.9 percentage points.