A new poll conducted between October 24-25 shows Missouri state attorney general Josh Hawley widening his lead in his battle against Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill for her seat.
The poll, commissioned by nonpartisan news agency Missouri Scout and conducted by GOP polling group Remington Research, found Hawley with a four-point lead over McCaskill, 49%-45%, as The Weekly Standard reports. Remington Research President Titus Bond tweeted, “The Claire McCaskill campaign right now reminds me of every well-funded losing campaign I’ve worked on.”
As The Standard notes, Hawley got off to a slow start last spring:
In the early months of this year, Hawley struggled to distance himself from Missouri’s then-governor Eric Greitens, who was mired in controversies concerning alleged sexual misconduct and campaign finance violations. As the state’s chief prosecutor, Hawley found himself tied up in the whole mess, with Greitens allies smearing him as carrying water for the state’s liberals and McCaskill’s camp calling him a Greitens stooge. Between March and May, not a single nonpartisan poll showed Hawley in the lead. Missouri Scout’s own first two polls of the cycle, conducted in mid-April and early May, each showed McCaskill with a four-point advantage.
After Greitens resigned in May, and the GOP united behind the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, in a state that has turned more conservative, Hawley started picking up steam. Then James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas released videos showing McCaskill’s staffers discussing how McCaskill was hiding her political proclivities in order to attract undecided voters.
Legal Insurrection points out that McCaskill was caught in a brazen lie, insisting that she had not said on television that Hawley had committed fraud. During a debate with Hawley, McCaskill accused Hawley of being involved in the Project Veritas undercover videos of her staff. Hawley responded, “… and to accuse me of fraud, which is what Senator McCaskill did. She said that I committed fraud. That I participated in a fraud. She said that on television.”
McCaskill interjected, “I didn’t say that on television.”
That simply wasn’t true. As can be seen below, McCaskill stated, “Well, it is startling that Josh Hawley would be part of fraudulently embedding somebody in my campaign. He’s the Attorney General of the state of Missouri. He’s supposed to be going after fraud, not participating in it.”
McCaskill was canny enough in 2012 to run ads in the GOP primary to boost her preferred opponent, Todd Akin to victory; Akin later imploded during the general election period. But this time around, four prominent GOP leaders, John Ashcroft, Kit Bond, John Danforth and Jim Talent, persuaded Hawley, the state’s attorney general, to run against McCaskill. They wrote to Hawley, “We are convinced that you would be more than an additional vote for a functioning Senate. You are a constitutional scholar. You have studied constitutional law, written about it, and taught it at law school. You understand that advocacy for a functioning legislative branch is the essence of what it means to be a conservative . . . and [you have] the ability to be a leading voice for the constitutional order, not only in Missouri but nationally.”
It looks as though those leaders made the right choice.