Missouri Remains Close

By John Celock

Missouri’s gubernatorial and Senate races remain close with a week to go until the election.

A Monmouth University Poll released Tuesday shows that the gubernatorial race between Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster and Republican Navy SEAL Eric Greitens is tied at 46 percent a piece. In the race for the U.S. Senate, Republican Sen. Roy Blunt leads Democrat Secretary of State Jason Kander 47 percent to 46 percent.

The results in the Senate race are identical to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Mason-Dixon Poll last week. The Senate race has been competitive since the 35-year-old Kander entered the race last year against the one term Blunt, with the Democrat staying within single digits of the Republican. Kander has gained more attention amongst national Democrats since he released an ad last month where he assembled a rifle blindfolded while discussing his support for preventing those on the terrorist watch list from buying a gun.

The gubernatorial race has been competitive since Greitens defeated several challengers to capture the GOP nomination over the summer. Koster has been positioning himself for the governorship for several years, being seen as the frontrunner heading into the year. Gov. Jay Nixon (D) is term limited.

Koster, a former Republican state senator, became a Democrat shortly before he ran for his first term as attorney general in 2008. He has largely positioned himself on a moderate path in his gubernatorial bid, copying the playbook that helped elect Nixon, himself a former four-term attorney general, to the governorship twice.

Greitens has played up his background as a Navy SEAL and positioned himself as the conservative alternative in the swing state. Koster has noted that he would serve as a check on the GOP-controlled state Legislature. Nixon has had a rocky second term with the Legislature, seeing lawmakers override many of his vetoes and facing close battles over a number of issues.