Southwest Missouri Congressman Roy Blunt leads Secretary of State Robin Carnahan in the race to replace Senator Bond in the latest public opinion poll released by the St. Louis Post Dispatch and KMOV-TV in St. Louis.
Citizens contacted between July 19th and the 21st favored Blunt over Carnahan, 48% to 42%. Ten percent of those contacted remain undecided.
The two still must make it through the August 3rd primary, but that seems more and more a formality, despite the publicity given Republican State Senator Chuck Purgason of Caulfield during the special legislative session. Purgason is running against Blunt in the Republican primary, attempting to entice Tea Party votes in a bid for a huge political upset. Seven other Republicans are on the Republican primary ballot. There are two candidates aside from Carnahan on the Democratic ballot August 3rd as well as two Libertarians and three candidate from the Constitution Party.
Carnahan has advantages in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas which traditional vote Democratic. Blunt leads everywhere else, often by healthy margins. Southwest Missouri residents give Blunt a 3-to-1 edge. Blunt has represented the area in Congress for seven terms.
The poll, conducted by the Mason-Dixon Polling and Research firm, contacted 625 likely Missouri voters by telephone at random. It has a margin of error of 4%.
Dissatisfaction with President Obama seems to be a big factor in the race. The poll found 57% of Missourians disapprove of Obama’s performance. Only 34% told pollsters they approve of the president’s performance in office. The opposition to Obama is even sharper among independents, those identifying themselves neither as a Republican nor a Democrat. Sixty-three percent of the independents polled disapproved of Obama’s performance. Obama narrowly lost Missouri to Republican John McCain in 2008.
The Blunt campaign has attempted to leverage that dissatisfaction. A television ad by Blunt highlights a recent fundraiser the president conducted for Carnahan.
Voters seem to be locked in on three issues: the economy, government spending and health care. Voters at present lean toward the Republican take on the issues.
Blunt leads in fund-raising as well. The Republican has amassed $4.53 million, raising $2.2 million in the last quarter. Carnahan has raised a total of $3.63 million. The Democrat received $1.55 million last quarter. Both have received help from national fund-raising efforts as the Republican and Democratic parties fight for control in Washington. Blunt has received support from oil companies and various corporate donors. Carnahan has received money from wind power and renewable energy firms. The fund-raising efforts seem to reflect the general divide between the two parties. Blunt receives the strong support of the business community. Carnahan has the backing of labor unions.