PPP's newest Missouri poll finds that Claire McCaskill's approval numbers have hit their lowest mark since Democrats' disastrous summer of 2010, and that she no longer leads any of her potential Republican opponents for reelection.
Only 42% of voters approve of the job McCaskill is doing to 49% who disapprove. She has particularly poor numbers with independents at 36/53. Crossover support from Republicans is pretty much nonexistent (8% approval) and she's having a little bit of trouble with Democrats as 16% give her poor marks. McCaskill's numbers have gradually declined since last March when PPP found her on narrowly positive ground at 46/45.
McCaskill's saving grace is that her Republican opponents are neither well known nor well liked. Todd Akin has 47% name recognition with it breaking down 19% favorable and 28% unfavorable. Sarah Steelman is known to 46% of voters with 22% rating her positively and 24% negatively. And John Brunner has 36% name recognition with his reviews splitting evenly at 18% up and 18% down.
If the Republicans had a candidate who was setting the world on fire McCaskill would probably be trailing for reelection given her approval numbers. But instead she finds herself tied at 43% with Akin, Brunner, and Steelman alike. This is the first time we've ever not found McCaskill leading her trio of Republicans foes. In 4 previous polls she had led Steelman by 1-3 points, in 3 previous polls she had led Akin by 1-2 points, and in 2 previous she had led Brunner by 6-9 points. It's not like she'd had a huge lead but the small one she had is gone.
Missouri has seen its share of incredibly close Senate elections over the years, and this one certainly looks like it has the potential to join the list.
Full results here