-Missouri Republicans aren't exactly giving Peter Kinder a big vote of confidence for being their Gubernatorial nominee. Only 22% say they'd like Kinder to be the party standard bearer compared to 35% who prefer a generic 'someone else' and 43% who say they have no opinion one way or the other. In a head to head with little known challenger Bill Randles Kinder leads, but with a less than impressive 34% to 14% for Randles with 53% undecided.
When we last polled the state in May Kinder's favorability was a +25 spread with primary voters at 37/12. Now he's only at +6 at 31/25. With these sorts of numbers I'd expect that if Kinder ends up drawing even a half serious primary challenge- I'm not sure Randles meets that standard- he will end up losing.
-Sarah Steelman's leading the primary race for Senate with 40% to 29% for Todd Akin and 6% for John Brunner. Akin was also at 29% the last time we polled but Steelman's support has vaulted from 28% to 40%. It may have been good news for her that Ed Martin decided to run for the House instead of the Senate- he had been polling at 9% and likely taking away a chunk of her Tea Party support. With him out of the picture she's in much better shape.
Even among primary voters these candidates just aren't very well known yet. Steelman has 46% name recognition (32% favorable, 14% unfavorable) and Akin's is 43% (31% favorable, 12% unfavorable.) They come out looking like celebrities next to John Brunner. Brunner is currently known to just 18% of the Republican electorate. If you're Steelman you'd certainly rather be ahead than behind but a lot will change as these candidates become better known.
-Missouri provides another example of Rick Perry's dominance in the South. He gets 31% there to 15% for Mitt Romney, 10% for Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich, 9% for Michele Bachmann, 8% for Ron Paul, 2% for Jon Huntsman, and 1% for Rick Santorum. Perry has now led our polls in Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia. That suggests he may have the ability to sweep through the delegate rich region.
As is the case most places Perry's lead is built on strong support from the furthest right segment of the Republican electorate. With 'very conservative' voters he's at 42% with Romney managing only a tie for 4th at 9%. Romney actually leads Perry 28-15 with moderates and keeps it competitive with voters describing themselves as 'somewhat conservative,' with only a 26-17 deficit to Perry. But those 'very conservative' voters are the largest part of the Missouri Republican electorate at 46% and Perry's dominance with them leads to dominance overall.
If Republicans had to choose just between the two front runners they'd take Perry by a 55-27 margin over Romney.
Full results here