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Scandal-Plagued Candidate Plummets In Key GOP Primary

Former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens’ Senate bid is sinking as his opponents flood the airwaves with ads about his alleged domestic dispute with his ex-wife, Politico reported Tuesday.

Greitens has consistently been a frontrunner for more than a year, data from RealClearPolitics showed. The latest polling has 39% of voters backing Attorney General Eric Schmitt, followed by Rep. Vicky Hartzler with 25% and Greitens with 18%, according to a poll sponsored by The Hill and Emerson.

Several anti-Greitens political action committees have formed to combat the former governor’s appeal and thrown millions of dollars into advertisements to shift public opinion, according to data from OpenSecrets. Several GOP insiders told Politico they feared Greitens could win the Republican primary but ultimately lose the general election in an otherwise safe seat due to his alleged controversies.

The anti-Greitens PACs Save Missouri Values and Show Me Values have spent more than $10 million on advertisements highlighting Greitens’ alleged domestic abuse of his wife and son, according to OpenSecrets.

In 2018, Greitens resigned as governor of Missouri after allegations came out that he had allegedly tied up his hairstylist in his basement and sexually assaulted her, coupled with an alleged campaign finance violation of using emails from his private non-profit to fundraise, according to Politico.

Sheena Greitens, the former governor’s ex-wife, recently testified under an affidavit that Greitens physically assaulted her and their three-year-old son while they were married during an ongoing custody battle, according to Politico. Greitens denied the accusations, claiming they were politically motivated.

In June, Greitens released an ad that gathered national attention showing him holding a rifle and breaking into a home to conduct a “RINO hunting” SWAT raid.

“I think it’s a case of the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Greg Keller, a Republican strategist working for a pro-Schmitt super PAC, told Politico. “I think Missouri Republican primary voters have, and rightly so, a lot of skepticism about what they read in the press.”

However, Keller explained that the evidence against the former governor is overwhelming.

“But at some point, when Missouri’s former first lady comes forward and says Greitens beat her when they were married, and says the same thing about his young son, voters think, ‘The number and the seriousness of the charges against him are just too much for me. I’m tapping out,’” said Keller.

Greitens’ campaign told Politico that the poll numbers were inaccurate but did not provide alternative polling to verify the claim.

“Fake poll numbers peddled by grifters are an albatross in the political world and Governor Greitens will become the next U.S. senator from Missouri,”  Greitens’ campaign manager Dylan Johnson told Politico.

Greitens has angled his messaging around Trump’s core policies of securing the southern border and incentivizing tax reform, according to his campaign website. Yet, he faces stiff competition from Schmitt, who also vies for the former President’s endorsement.

Greitens’ campaign did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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Josh Hypes

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