Businessman John Brunner has the lead as Missouri Republicans head to the polls Tuesday to determine who will take on Sen. Claire McCaskill in November, but Missouri Rep. Todd Akin appears to have the momentum on his side.
According to a Public Policy Polling poll released Sunday night, Brunner has 35 percent support, Akin sits at 30 percent, and Sarah Steelman is at 25 percent.
Akin appears to have the momentum, PPP notes, since the last poll of the race – conducted by Mason Dixon – had him at 17 percent, behind Steelman at 27 percent and Brunner at 33 percent.
Steelman, the former state treasury, has garnered much attention since she was endorsed by Sarah Palin, who is doing robo-calls and ads for her. Palin appeared at an event for Steelman over the weekend. She also, ironically, got a boost from Harry Reid’s Super PAC, who ran ads against Brunner that echoed Steelman’s line of attack. But PPP noted that she actually dropped a couple of points since the Mason Dixon poll.
Brunner has worked to paint himself as the Washington outsider – slamming “career politicians who “worry about the next election, not about doing what they think is correct,” as Southeast Missourian reported. He has the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a group that rarely involves itself in primaries, and they are running ads on his behalf.
But the momentum appears to be on Akin’s side.
Not only does he appear to have surpassed Steelman, but he leads the other two candidates among voters who say they are “very excited” to vote in the primary Tuesday – 35 percent to 33 percent for Brunner and 28 percent for Steelman.
Voters also like the congressman, with 54 percent saying they hold a favorable view of him, and just 17 percent saying they hold an unfavorable view.
Brunner’s popularity is similar – 54 percent favorable to 18 percent unfavorable, while Steelman is viewed well by just 41 percent of likely Republican primary voters, and 35 percent hold an unfavorable view of her.