A pollster called GQR has found Democratic Senate candidate Lucas Kunce merely one percentage point behind incumbent Republican Josh Hawley in Missouri, though Kunce would still need to win the Democratic primary to make the two’s general election match-up official.
The polling was completed August 19, and these figures come with a caveat. The numbers — with Hawley at 44 percent and Kunce at 43 percent — represent the results after “voters learn more positive information about both candidates,” the pollster said. That description means that, as opposed to basing the responses purely on name or party recognition, poll participants were provided brief bios of each major contender before the round of questioning that preceded these numbers, when 12 percent identified themselves as undecided.
The same polling tactic has been seen elsewhere, like in Florida. Though the polling done with such strategies involved is repeatedly in association with a particular side in the race, the bios provided to survey participants have still frequently been straightforwardly positive for both sides. In a recap of results, GQR didn’t provide copies of the bios it used for the candidates in its polling. The numbers represent what the elections website FiveThirtyEight has cataloged as the only Missouri Senate poll to so far emerge in the contest that will see Hawley going before voters next year. Though the state has been known sometimes as leaning towards Republicans, Hawley was immediately preceded by a Democrat, Claire McCaskill.
Another Senate contest where Democrats could mount a surprise win is in Texas, where Sen. Ted Cruz (R) will be seeking another term. It’s not yet clear which Democrat will challenge him next year, with multiple major candidates now in the primary, including Rep. Colin Allred and Roland Gutierrez, a member of the Texas state Senate. Various developments, if seen, could prove the deciding factor, from a potentially negative effect on other Republicans if Americans vote in large numbers against Trump — if he’s on the ballot — to outrage about the GOP’s anti-abortion stance driving support for Democrats.