Claire McCaskill Far Behind In Missouri Senate Polls

As things stand now, the GOP looks to stand a pretty good chance of picking up a Senate seat in Missouri:

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) trails all three of her potential Republican rivals, according to a new survey conducted for two Missouri news outlets, cementing her status as this cycle’s most vulnerable incumbent.

Businessman John Brunner (R) holds the largest advantage over McCaskill, leading by a 52 perent to 41 percent margin. Former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman (R) leads by a 49 percent to 41 percent margin. And Rep. Todd Akin (R) leads by a 49 percent to 44 percent margin.

McCaskill’s big problems come among independent voters. She scores just 40 percent among independents against Akin, and she’s mired in the mid-30s when she’s matched up with Brunner and Steelman. And while McCaskill has said she would like President Obama to campaign with her, Obama wouldn’t be much of an advantage — the poll shows Obama trails Mitt Romney by a 51 percent to 42 percent margin.

The poll shows Brunner leading the Republican primary with 33 percent, compared with Steelman at 27 percent, Akin at 17 percent and five other candidates lagging far behind. Though this is his first run for office against two long-time elected officials, Brunner has bolstered his name recognition by spending millions on advertising introducing himself to Missouri voters.

Mason-Dixon Polling & Research polled 625 likely Missouri voters between July 23 and 25 for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and News 4. The poll has a 4-point margin of error, meaning the Brunner’s and Steelman’s leads over McCaskill are statistically significant. The poll surveyed oversamples of 400 Republican and Democratic primary voters, each of which carry a 5 percent margin of error.

Missouri has been drifting red for years so this isn’t entirely surprising. Nonetheless, with the Senate only divided 53-47 it pretty much guarantees that who ever has the Senate majority next year will have it by a very thin margin.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Congress, US Politics, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    I don’t believe that Sen. McCaskill’s losing her seat to a Republican challenger would be an indication of Missouri’s turning “red” any more than her defeat of Republican incumbent Jim Talent in 2006 was an indication that the state was turning “blue”. Missouri is the classic swing state. It’s a bellwether state in that sense.

    A better argument can be made that, if she loses, she’s a casualty of the Democratic leadership. Or that there’s a general mood of anti-incumbency.

  2. al-Ameda says:

    No surprise there, I’ve always considered Missouri to be the “North” South.

  3. Dave Schuler says:

    It’s the northernmost Southern state, the southernmost Northern state, the westernmost Eastern state, and the easternmost Western state.

  4. Dave W C says:

    After this election in Missouri Romney will easily beat Obama ,McCaskill will lose big to Brunner,leaving Missouri with two Senate Republicans, both house’s controlled by Republicans,and a very moderate Democrate Governor,if that’s not red what is!

  5. Dave W C says:

    @Dave Schuler: Does that mean that Missouri having both Republican Senators after this election and big margins in both State house’s plus Obama losing big in State makes Mo. evenly divide among Democrats and Republicans,you have got to be a Union leader!

  6. cfpete says:

    Mizzou joined the SEC. That is all you need to know.

  7. al-Ameda says:

    @Dave W C:
    and, just to be gratuitous, it’s the home state of Rush Limbaugh.

  8. cfpete stole my thunder, but Mizzou joined the SEC. What did you expect?