Is Greitens’ Star Falling? Democrats Seem More Concerned With His Opponents – Opinion

Former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has enjoyed a healthy lead in the polling leading up to the Missouri Republican primary for U.S. Senate, but there are some signs that he’s on his way out, and his top contender is on his way up.

Two of Greitens’ opponents — Attorney General Eric Schmitt and U.S. Representative Vicky Hartzler — have been keeping it fairly close (or, in some cases, making it closer) for the last few weeks while Greitens’ share of the vote has gone down in the polls. RealClearPolitics’ polling average puts Schmitt just behind Greitens and Hartzler a little behind Schmitt.

There is data that suggests Greitens isn’t a lock, and his lead might shift soon. As Schmitt is being attacked on abortion, it seems like Democrats are worried more about Greitens the Attorney General than they were the former Governor.

Democrats may be playing offense for the first time since 1950 when it comes abortion rights. The Missouri governor had just signed the “trigger ban” on abortion. Mike Parson and Attorney General Eric Schmitt, both Republicans, implemented Missouri’s “trigger ban” on abortion, the one passed by the Legislature in 2019, with no exceptions for rape and incest.

Rep. Crystal Quade (D-Springfield), the minor leader in the Missouri House sent Schmitt a note asking for his opinion on the law. The law should be interpreted by Schmitt who will run for U.S. Senate in an extremely contested primary. Quade is convinced it does, and she has the legal analysis to support her belief. There is still enough doubt in Missouri about whether some Missouri hospitals or physicians will be able to cope with the political climate.

Two reasons are why Democrats want Schmitt to answer questions about the trigger ban: The first is that they want voters to be as “skittish” on the question of birth control as the doctors and hospitals. Their second argument is that they will win. They can either claim they have protected birth control or challenge the Attorney General. Or they hope that Schmitt goes “extreme” and claims it’s not protected. It’s not a trap, per se, but it is a situation they would like a victory in.

“The state’s new anti-abortion law is so extreme, Missourians are justified in worrying they could be sent to prison for merely taking birth control pills,” Quade wrote. “That is why it is imperative for the attorney general to unequivocally explain to all Missourians how he interprets the law and how he intends to enforce it.”

This was not a punt by Quade, but a full frontal assault on Schmitt’s defensive line. State Rep. Sarah Unsicker, D-Shrewsbury, sent a similar letter, asking for an official opinion on what constitutes a “medical emergency.”

It is important that Schmitt be targeted on the abortion issue and Greitens not. They are posing these questions to him not just because he’s the Attorney General, but because they see him as a threat on the issue.

Greitens also seems to have made few friends with a recent ad that showed him “hunting RINOs,” and his previous positions on guns and gun control (especially in the wake of recent shootings and legislation) are enough to grant conservatives some pause. That’s why Schmitt has also dropped this ad, showing an agenda to fight the Democrats rather than his own party.

Greitens has emphasized his focus on the GOP establishment and his opposition are more focused on the Democrats. This is the better play. The better play is evident in this case. All polling suggests that voters view Biden (and to a lesser degree, the Democratic Party) often as the problem. Schmitt is trying to fix that by focusing on it to get voters to his side.

Greitens can’t break away in the polls because of his past scandals, and it’s clear that, with only 24 percent of the primary vote, Republicans in the state want someone else. They just can’t seem to agree on who. Greitens is currently favored by this, but it doesn’t seem like that will be enough to save Greitens. The polling data suggests that some candidates who have a small percentage of votes could switch to Schmitt or Hartzler. Schmitt appears the most likely candidate at the moment.

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