-The Republican primary for Senate in Missouri is starting to look a lot more interesting. Sarah Steelman still leads with 32% to 23% for Todd Akin and 18% for John Brunner. But the momentum in the race is completely on Brunner's side. He's gained 12 points from our last poll in September, when he was at just 6%. Meanwhile Steelman's support has declined by 8 points from the last poll and Akin is down by 6. This is looking more and more like it could end up being a closely contested 3 way race.
The Republican candidate field still isn't terribly well known. 52% of voters are familiar with Steelman compared to 41% for Akin and 36% for Brunner. Brunner's name recognition has doubled since our September poll while the others have stayed pretty much in place.
-Dave Spence may be viewed as the presumptive Republican candidate for Governor but he's not exactly setting the world on fire so far. He actually trails Bill Randles 15-12...it's not often we poll a race and find 73% of voters undecided. That's a function of both hopefuls being pretty anonymous. Only 18% are familiar with Randles and just 15% have an opinion about Spence.
Randles and Spence's weakness/anonymity leaves a lot of room for another Republican candidate to get into the race and one who has considered it is State Auditor Tom Schweich. He would take the lead in the primary if he jumped in, polling at 28% to 10% for Randles and 7% for Spence. Even he's not that well known though- just 24% of voters have an opinion about him.
-It's hard to know what to make of Peter Kinder's chances for another term as Lieutenant Governor. He's polling at only 37% in the primary, a pretty weak place for an incumbent. But with three opponents splitting the anti-Kinder vote he still has a 25 point lead in the primary with Brad Lager second at 12% followed by Luann Ridgeway at 9% and Mike Carter at 5%. He may be able to survive with under 50% of the vote if all of the other folks stay in.
Full results here