Greitens has big lead in early GOP primary race for Missouri Senate seat, internal poll shows

Forty-eight percent of likely voters said they'd pick Greitens for the GOP nominee if the race were held today, poll shows.

Updated: March 29, 2021 - 9:54pm

A new internal poll for the Senate campaign of former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens shows the candidate with a significant lead over several other contenders and likely contenders in a hypothetical GOP primary contest.

The statewide survey by national pollster Fabrizio, Lee & Associates found that Greitens, a former Navy SEAL, has roughly four times the support of likely GOP primary voters as compared to his closest rival, state Attorney General Eric Schmidt, and two other candidates.

Forty-eight percent of likely voters said they'd pick Greitens for the GOP nominee if the race were held today, in a poll whose results were tallied on Friday. 

Schmidt finished second with 11% of the likely vote, followed by Reps. Ann Wagner with 9% and Jason Smith with 7%. 

Twenty-six percent of the 400 poll respondents said they were undecided, showing that the race, as expected, is relatively wide open with Election Day still roughly 19 months away. 

The pollsters said that even if every undecided voter went to one other candidate, "Greitens would still be up double digits." 

The candidates are competing for the seat left open by the recent and unexpected retirement announcement of two-term Missouri GOP Sen. Roy Blount.

Greitens was host from October 2020 to February 2021 on the Just the News TV show "Actionable Intelligence."  

The internal poll results appear as good news for Greitens, considering the skepticism he received from parts of the Republican Party upon officially entering the race last week.

The 46-year-old Greitens resigned as governor in 2018 – one year into his term while embroiled in alleged scandal – raising concerns about whether he could keep the seat from Democrats in next year’s General Election or perhaps create such a contentious primary that no GOP nominee could win in November 2022. 

"As governor, I fought for Missourians. Now the people deserve to have a fighter in the Senate," Greitens told Just the News when he officially announced his bid March 22. 

Greitens is running on an America First agenda and hopes to earn an endorsement from Trump.

Anthony Fabrizio, a principal in the firm that took the recent poll, was Trump's pollster in his 2016 presidential campaign.

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