The Buzz

Roy Blunt has two-point edge on Jason Kander in Senate race in Missouri, poll shows

Democrat Jason Kander (left) and Republican Roy Blunt.
Democrat Jason Kander (left) and Republican Roy Blunt. The Associated Press

A poll released Wednesday by the Monmouth University Polling Institute shows GOP Sen. Roy Blunt clinging to a narrow lead over challenger Jason Kander in Missouri, while Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump enjoys a slightly wider margin over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the state.

Monmouth’s poll, conducted Sunday through Tuesday this week, gives Blunt 46 percent of the state’s likely voters and Democrat Kander 44 percent in the U.S. Senate race. The two-point margin is well within the poll’s margin of error, making it a statistical tie.

The Monmouth poll has Trump at 46 percent in Missouri and Clinton at 41 percent.

Blunt’s support for Trump does not appear to be a significant factor in the Senate race, the pollsters said.

“Blunt is in a bit of a Catch-22 here,” said a statement from Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth Polling Institute.

“Many voters who could swing this election take a dim view of (Blunt’s) Trump endorsement,” he said. “On the other hand, a significant portion of his base would not react well if the incumbent turned his back on their party’s presidential nominee.”

Both candidates on Wednesday reported fundraising totals for the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30. Kander reported raising $3 million for his campaign, while Blunt took in $1.8 million.

The Republican incumbent has raised roughly $10.5 million for his campaign during the 2015-2016 election cycle, while Kander has raised $9.3 million. Outside groups have spent $15.5 million on the race.

But Blunt has raised money since his election to the Senate in 2010. Since 2011, Blunt has raised $14.4 million.

The Monmouth poll included Missouri’s race for governor. In that survey, Democrat Chris Koster was favored by 46 percent of those surveyed, while Republican Eric Greitens had 43 percent.