MOScout Weekender: Korte to Treas? - Poll: Deep Partisan Divide - Hallway: Trump Threatens 2020 - Who Won the Week and more...

First in MOScout: Staffing Swaps

Leslie Korte, chief of staff to House Floor Leader Rob Vescovo, will be exiting.  She’s headed to the State Treasurer’s office, as Scott Fitzpatrick continues to recruit and beef up his staff.

As a result Joe Engler, who was slated to staff Sen. Mike Bernskoetter, will return to the House.  There are a lot of fans of Engler in the House.  One denizen cheers: “Joe is a beloved person in the House, very popular with the membership and a solid presence to assist Vecovo in running the floor… Big win to get Joe back.”

What It Means

Fitz is taking some strong Republican talent with him to the Treasurer’s office, but the real story here is that these are the fat days for young MO GOPers.  When you have supermajorities in both chambers and five of the six statewide offices, six of the eight congressional seats and both US Senate seats, there are a lot of job to fill.

It’s a virtuous cycle for Republicans.  With more opportunities, they can develop more capable staff.  Dem staffers, meanwhile, have fewer options and must consider jumping out of public service when they consider career advancement.


CLEAN limits some of the private side opportunities for staffers because of the lobbying wait period.


MOScout Poll: MO on National Issues

See the full poll results here.

Survey conducted January 9 through January 11, 2019. 830 likely 2020 General Election voters participated in the survey.  Margin of Error is +/-3.4%.

Q1: Do you think the United States is headed in the right direction or is it going off on the wrong track?

Right direction: 41%

Wrong track: 50%

No opinion: 9%

Q2: Do you approve or disapprove of the job Donald Trump is doing as President?

Approve: 49%

Disapprove: 47%

Not sure: 4%

Q3: What do you think is biggest problem facing our country today?

Federal debt: 9%

Rising healthcare costs: 21%

Illegal immigration: 30%

Moral decay of society: 14%

Income inequality: 9%

Something else: 9%

Not sure: 9%

Q4: Please rate how strongly you agree with the following statement: the government should act to reduce the threat of global warming.

Strongly agree: 35%

Somewhat agree: 21%

Somewhat disagree: 15%

Strongly disagree: 17%

Not sure: 12%

Inside the Numbers

As might be expected, this poll shows huge partisan divides among Missourians.

·         70% of Republicans think the country is headed in the right direction while 85% of Democrats say it’s on the wrong track.

·         84% of Republicans approve of Donald Trump’s job performance, and 87% of Democrats disapprove.

·         51% of Republicans think illegal immigration is the country’s biggest problem, but Democrats (35%) worry most about rising healthcare costs.

·         79% of Democrats agree that the federal government should be acting to reduce the threat of global warming, while only 32% of Republicans agree.

What It Means

In Jefferson City, Republicans and Democrats will find greatest success in working together on technical issues and pragmatic problems, but once ideology enters the frame, it gets real hard.  The bases of the two parties have two different worldviews.


In Missouri party identification is corresponding more and more with geography.  That pits the urban and inner ring suburbs against the rural and exurbs.


MOScout’s Hallway Index: Greatest threat to MO GOP In 2020?

I asked: What is the greatest threat to Missouri Republicans being successful in the 2020 elections?


Trump presidency imploding…  60.8%

2020 recession…  13%

National GOP schism…  8.7%

Nasty state primaries / GOP infighting… 4.4%

Something else…  13%

Sample of Comments

The threat to any party is always the other party to make any particular issue the deciding factor in an election. There are any number of issues that could make it difficult for Republicans, but the greatest threat is Democrats both nationally, and in the state, to figure out how to recruit candidates, organize their base, and sell their message to moderate, conservative voters. Thus far, Dems have failed to do this and Missouri Republicans have survived numerous threats that should have resulted in Republican losses, will 2020 be any different? Recent history says otherwise.


The next two years will be extremely difficult with the president under legitimate siege from all sides and likely more indictments of members of his team. This will help fuel GOP infighting nationally and that could be even more prevalent in MO with such huge supermajorities and more people to keep in the collapsing tent.  Of course, I could be wrong and the tent could collapse right on top of MO, leaving us in an island of Trump sycophants. We’ll see....


Who Won the Week?

With a filibuster on the second day of session, MOScout’s Who Won the Week says… everyone wins!

Dave Schatz – the Senate’s new speaker pro tem displays patience and offers a face-saving exit for the meandering filibusterers.

Gary Romine and Doug Libla – Fire a shot across the bow that they are willing to be disruptors in their final two years.

Bill Eigel and “Conservative Caucus” – The Southeast Pair makes Sen. Eigel and his hardliners seem quite reasonable.  They don’t go in for the battle over a minor rules change, instead save their powder for something of significance later.

Democrats – A dream come true.  Republicans fighting with Republicans on the second day of session.  Time to rehearse the art of Staying Out of the Way.

Find a downable version of this here.



Snowed in?  Why watch Netflix when you can watch this week’s Columbia mayoral candidate forum with lobbyist Brian Treece and former Rep. Chris Kelly squaring off.  See it here.


Lobbyist Registrations

Justin Arnold added The Travelers Companies, Inc. And Subsidiaries.

Ryan Rowden deleted The Rowden Group.


$5K+ Contributions

Advance Missouri - $40,750 from Missouri Republican Party.

House Victory Committee - $7,500 from HCA Good Government Fund.