JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A new set of polling shows the race for Missouri’s U.S. Senate seat literally as close as can be.
A survey conducted by TJP Strategies on behalf of Missouri Scout from August 8-9 polled 1,785 voters, revealing a tie in the Senate race between candidates Claire McCaskill and Josh Hawley, with both claiming 47 percent of the vote. Six percent were undecided.
McCaskill polled better in blue strongholds like St. Louis and Kansas City, but Hawley cleared 61 percent of voters asked in the more conservative southern parts of the state. Males were three points more likely to vote for Hawley, while females gave 4 percent more of their votes to McCaskill. Perhaps the most interesting data the poll revealed was that of the moderate voters, 68 percent sided with McCaskill.
The poll also revealed a five-point lead for Republican candidate Saundra McDowell in the Auditor’s race. McDowell, days after claiming the GOP nomination, shows a 47-42 lead over incumbent Democrat Nicole Galloway, with 6 percent of those surveyed undecided.
McDowell polled stronger in Columbia (47%), Kansas City (46%), Cape Girardeau (55%), and in Springfield (62%) while Galloway fared better in St. Louis with 47 percent of the vote.
McDowell led among both women and female, while again, the moderate voters leaned in favor of the Democratic candidate (61%).
To conduct the survey, Patrick Shami of TJP said, they sampled from voters with a history of voting in general elections and then screened them to achieve a random sample of likely voters from across the state.
“The sample of participants was then weighted to match the demographics of the frequent voter population,” he said. “The weighting that we used will likely remain the same through Election Day. For a statewide race, our goal is to reach a sample of at least 1,000 interviews. Because the data is weighted, we need a large enough sample size to achieve statistically significant results. We also need large subsample sizes for the crosstabs to also have statistically significant findings.”
When asked about the poll’s data showing a leaning toward Democratic candidates by the moderates surveyed, Shami said it was “probably a product of the national environment.”
“We’ve seen moderates and independents favoring Democrats in other races throughout Missouri this year, and that’s likely due to the fact that more moderates are now identifying as Democrats,” he said. “Non-partisans are also likely to view incumbents more favorably than hard partisans, so that could also be contributing to the moderate support for each of the two Democratic statewide candidates.
“Not surprisingly, the race for U.S. Senate has tightened now that the primary is over and likely will remain very close through Election Day, unless we see another Todd Akin moment leading up to November.”