Monday, February 29, 2016

MOScout Weekly Poll

If you didn’t get a chance to look at the latest MOScout poll yesterday, see it here.

First, Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder still leads in the four-way Republican gubernatorial primary.  But his lead has narrowed a bit since the last time I poll this four months ago (see that poll here).  Kinder now leads Catherine Hanaway by 15 points, down from 20 points in October.  John Brunner has inched up from 9% to 12%, and Eric Greitens remains flat at 6%.

Of course no one in this race has started spending their money in serious way yet.

With the surprise entrance of Sen. Dan Brown in the Republican treasurer’s primary, I did an initial poll.  It showed Sen. Eric Schmitt with a 13-point lead.  I had imagined they’d start closer than that.  In the cross-tabs, Schmitt leads everywhere in the state, but has a huge lead in St. Louis County which makes sense because he represents that area.

Finally for the Republican presidential primary, Donald Trump is still the favorite among Missouri Republican primary voters.  Crazzzzzy.  I can’t believe how wrong I have been about Trump.  I really thought he grabbed the spotlight by being entertaining and would fade as voters got serious.  This poll is very similar to the Republican presidential primary poll I did in December (see it here).  Trump then had 33% of the vote; now he has 32%.  Ted Cruz was second with 23%; same as now, 23%.  And Marco Rubio was third with 12%, he’s consolidated votes from those who have dropped out and now has 20%.  John Kasich has also picked up votes.  He was at 1% in December and now polls at 8%.

It’s also worth noting that Republican primary voters are more concerned with national security than economic issues (48%-39%) when they think about president.  Democratic primary voters (from last week) were more concerned with economic issues (64%) than national security (23%).


St. Louis Public Radio reports from Lincoln Days about concern among Republicans about Trump as nominee.  These concerns are presumably from the 65% not voting for him.  See it here.


Rubio Super PAC Buying Missouri Ads

Conservative Solution PAC, a SuperPAC helping Mario Rubio, has started a Missouri ad buy.  See the contract hereHere’s the Conservative Solution PAC website.

New York Times article on the SuperPAC.  See it here.

Pull Quote: In New Hampshire, Gov. Chris Christie felt the full force of the “super PAC” supporting Senator Marco Rubio: It ran two negative television ads, printed mailers, made digital display ads and ran two separate websites against Mr. Christie that meshed with the broadcast ads. Now, the PAC, Conservative Solutions, is rolling out a similar playbook across Super Tuesday states and beyond against the candidate Mr. Rubio is aggressively targeting on the campaign trail: Donald J. Trump.  It has produced two broadcast ads, running currently in Florida, accusing Mr. Trump of “knowing nothing” about foreign policy, and taking apart his business record.


Schweich Suicide

With the one year anniversary of Tom Schweich’s suicide and the corollary story of Jeff Roe playing hardball, there have been a fair number of articles.  Here’s the Daily Beast’s take on it.

Pull Quote: Though Danforth—the elder statesman of Missouri Republican politics—blames Roe for the death, other prominent conservatives in the state defend him. “Nobody should be blamed for a guy’s suicide,” said Ed Martin, the president of Eagle Forum, which is based in St. Louis. “I don’t lay it on Roe or anybody.”  Martin added that he disapproved of Danforth’s homily.

“Danforth’s homily, when I sat in the pew, it was a terrible thing—it was a terribly inappropriate thing,” he said. “Danforth should have held a press conference afterwards, not at the eulogy. And because of that, it really spun the whole argument in a way that wasn’t really fair.”

And he said the attacks Schweich faced are just politics as usual—and that if he hadn’t committed suicide, they wouldn’t have drawn special reprobation.

Bill Kenney, who heads Missouri’s Public Service Commission, concurred. “I think any politician realizes that politics is politics,” said Kenney, who is a former state senator. “The radio ads didn’t cause Tom Schweich to take his life. “I like Jeff,” he added. “I’m glad I’m out of politics so I don’t have him against me.”


2016 Watch

In the Republican gubernatorial primary, there’s an in-kind donation to Catherine Hanaway from First Rule Media which is the media production arm of Pelopidas LLC.  Rex Sinquefield has been a big donor of Hanaway and it looks like Pelopidas is following suit.

In the secretary of state’s Republican primary, Jay Ashcroft had a pretty clever gimmick at Lincoln Days.  See it here.  It shows how Republicans are looking to make Voter ID one of their centerpiece campaign issues.  It polls very well in Missouri and puts Democrats on the defensive.

In the lieutenant governor’s Republican primary, heads were turned by this TwitterPic from Lincoln Days (see it here) which showed a bottle with an electronic message on its label to “Vote for Bev Randles.”  Randles’ campaign has been spending money at a swift clip, and has barely raised much money beyond its initial Rex Sinquefield  $1 million donation and a follow-on six-figure infusion from David Humphreys.  She’ll need another round of funding if she continues to spend like this.

In House 59, it looks like Randy Dinwiddle, challenging incumbent Rep. Mike Bernskoetter, originally was planning to run for Senate 6 (see the Facebook page here) but didn't realize until last week that the Senate seat was on the 2018 cycle, so he changed to House 59.

In House 75, we could have a drama-filled primary.  It’s said that Democratic candidate Teona McGhaw-Bourne was close friends with incumbent Rep. Rochelle Walton Gray and thought she was in-line for the seat of the term-limited legislator until to be spurned when Walton Gray’s husband Alan Gray filed.

In House 80, Peter Merideth announced a new “special guest” for his March 3 fundraiser, Rep. Mike Colona, who recently endorsed him.


Winston Apple’s Latest IP

Winston Apple, who filed to run for lieutenant governor as a Democrat, has been a prolific filer of initiative petitions, though it’s doubtful he has the resources to collect signatures for any of them.  His latest (see it here) would form the “Climate Crisis Response Project” which would be funded with 10% tax on Missourians’ capital gains.


Russell Passes

Former Rep. James C. "Jay" Russell Sr. was 87.  See the Post-Dispatch obituary here.

Pull Quote: Russell Sr. worked as a St. Louis County sheriff's deputy before deciding to run for public office. Representing the 1st District from 1962-1980, he served on the appropriations committee and several others, and was instrumental establishing the College of Optometry at University of Missouri-St. Louis, his family said.  Russell Sr. sponsored the bill for sports medicine, bringing pain killers and other medicine onto the field for trainers. Blanton said he was also very proud of a program that matched Metropolitan Sewer District funds to help construct concrete waterways that would contain North County creeks and tributaries and prevent them from eroding properties.


Lobbyists Registrations

William Shoehigh added Expedia Inc.

David McCracken and Zach Brunnert added Cheyenne International, LLC.

Noel Torpey added MIEC (Missouri Industrial Energy Consumers).

Scott Penman added Missouri Retailers Association.

Mark Rhoads added Steven Carroll.


$5K+ Contributions

Teamsters Local Union No 688 Political Action Committee - $10,719 from D.R.I.V.E. Committee.

AGC of MO PAC - $6,000 from Fabrick CAT.

Property Casualty Insurers Association of America Political Account - $63,372 from Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

Local 41 Political Action Fund - $9,790 from DRIVE Committee.

Slay for Mayor - $7,000 from Ironworkers Political Education Fund.

Hanaway for Governor Inc - $58,729 from First Rule Film & Broadcast LLC.

Schmitt for Missouri - $5,001 from Orville Moddendorf.

Schmitt for Missouri - $15,000 from Lodging Hospitality Management.



Happy birthday to blogger Randy Turner (60!).