For the first time since polling began in Missouri's Republican Senate primary, controversial former Gov. Eric Greitens dropped from first place to second in the crowded GOP field.
Show Me State Republicans who spoke to Newsmax on background agreed that a recent affidavit filed by Greitens' former wife Sheena claiming that he had inflicted "physical abuse" on her and their children was primarily responsible for his sudden drop in the survey.
According to a recently completed survey by Remington Research for the much-read Missouri Scout political newsletter, State Attorney General Eric Schmitt has taken the lead among likely Republican primary voters with 24%. He is followed by former front-runner Greitens at 21% and Rep. Vickie Hartzler at 19%.
Further behind was Rep. Billy Long at 9%, St. Louis attorney Mark McCloskey at 5%, and State Senate President Dave Schatz at 3%.
All are considered stalwart conservatives and strong supporters of former President Donald Trump.
The same sources who said the charges by Greitens' former wife had wounded him agreed that Trump — once thought to be leading toward an endorsement of the former governor's comeback bid — would now remain neutral in the primary on Aug. 2.
Last week, Trump did point out that Long was an early supporter of his presidential bid in 2016 and wondered aloud if Missouri Republicans have considered "his big, loud, and proud personality" in the Senate race.
"This is not an endorsement, but I'm just asking," said Trump.
A former Navy SEAL and Missouri's first Jewish governor, Greitens resigned the governorship in May 2018 as the Republican-controlled legislature moved toward impeaching him over charges of violent behavior by a hairdresser with whom he had an extra-marital relationship.
He also was charged with using the mailing list of a veterans' charity he founded to raise campaign funds. The Missouri Ethics Commission "found no evidence of any wrongdoing," but fined him $178,000 "which can be settled if the former governor pays $38,000 and commits no further offenses."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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