(breitbart) – By an astounding measure of three to one, a new poll shows Missouri GOP primary voters are more likely to vote for a U.S. Senate candidate in the upcoming August primary if that candidate supports an alternative to Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell.
The poll, conducted for current frontrunner for Senate and former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ campaign, asked respondents, “If you knew a candidate pledged to vote against Mitch McConnell as Senate leader, would that make you more likely or less likely to vote for that candidate?”
Overall, 49 percent of GOP primary voters in Missouri said it would make them more likely to support that candidate. Only 16 percent said it would make them less likely — meaning there is more than three-to-one support for ditching McConnell than keeping him — and 36 percent said it would make no difference.
What’s even more profound than that overall number is the breakdown by demographic, which shows among other stunning findings that a majority of women surveyed — 51 percent — said they are more likely to back the anti-McConnell candidate. Majorities of people under 54 years old — 50 percent among 45-to-54-year-olds, 54 percent among 35-to-44-year-olds, and 53 percent among 18-to-34-year-olds — were more likely to back the anti-McConnell candidate.
In the Missouri GOP U.S. Senate primary, there is only one candidate — Greitens, who leads the crowded pack — who has pledged to vote against McConnell. Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) have both refused to answer the question repeatedly, and despite their respective backing by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) are viewed as potentially close allies of McConnell should they win the election. Greitens, on the other hand, has made defeating McConnell a centerpiece of his campaign, working tirelessly to put it at the forefront of every argument he makes whether it’s fending off evidence-free allegations from the various scandals he’s been hit with or policy critiques of business as usual in Washington.
Among supporters of each of the other candidates, the polling data shows too that their supporters are more likely to support someone else if they found out that other candidate opposes McConnell while their candidate does not. Among Hartzler’s supporters, 38 percent said they were more likely to back a different candidate if the other candidate opposed McConnell — while just 20 percent said they were less likely. Among Schmitt’s supporters, the numbers are even more profound: 48 percent said they were more likely to back someone else if the other candidate had pledged to vote against McConnell, while just 11 percent said they were not. Among supporters of Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) — another candidate in the race who also has not publicly opposed McConnell — 50 percent said they were more likely to support another candidate if that candidate pledged to oppose McConnell while just 18 percent said they were less likely.
The anti-McConnell sentiment captured in the poll also holds across geographic boundaries, ideological divides inside the GOP, education level, and voter intensity. The biggest support for opposing McConnell comes among non-white GOP voters, 56 percent of whom said they were more likely to back a candidate who pledged to vote against McConnell for GOP leader while only 7 percent said they were less likely to back such a candidate.
The fact that a leading GOP U.S. Senate campaign is even polling this question — and releasing the results to the public, which Greitens’s campaign did by providing this to Breitbart News exclusively — is remarkable in and of itself. Just a few years ago, this would have been unthinkable — polling against the current GOP leader of the elected body a GOP candidate seeks to serve in — but McConnell’s standing among Republicans has clearly weakened to all-time lows.
What’s more, this candidate, Greitens — per the same poll — is actually leading the GOP field. That ballot test question, which Greitens’s team released the other day, shows Greitens way out in first place with 26 percent. Hartzler comes in second with just 19 percent, and Schmitt is down in third with 14 percent with Long after that with 7 percent. Five percent back Mark McCloskey and 27 percent are undecided.
The survey of 806 likely primary voters was conducted from May 2 to May 4, and has a margin of error of 3.48 percent. It was conducted by pollster co/efficient.