KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On Monday, former President Donald Trump made an endorsement in the U.S. Senate race in Missouri, but it’s not quite clear which candidate he’s supporting.
“There is a BIG Election in the Great State of Missouri, and we must send a MAGA Champion and True Warrior to the U.S. Senate, someone who will fight for Border Security, Election Integrity, our Military and Great Veterans, together with having a powerful toughness on Crime and the Border. We need a person who will not back down to the Radical Left Lunatics who are destroying our Country,” the former president said in a statement.
“I trust the Great People of Missouri, on this one, to make up their own minds, much as they did when they gave me landslide victories in the 2016 and 2020 Elections, and I am therefore proud to announce that ERIC has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”
Trump didn’t clarify which Eric he’s endorsing however. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens are both running in the Republican primary for outgoing Sen. Roy Blunt’s seat.
Trump had already said he will not endorse Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler.
“I wasn’t surprised,” The Hill’s national political reporter Julia Manchester sad in an interview with FOX4 Monday afternoon. “I think a lot of us were suspecting he’d get involved in the race at some point.”
Manchester said Trump wanted to be careful with when he’d make an endorsement in this race.
“We know that there has been a big establishment Republican effort very much to support Eric Schmitt in an effort to take out Eric Greitens,” she said.
According to Open Secrets, the conservative Show Me Values Pac has spent nearly $8 million to try to make sure Greitens doesn’t win the primary. The ads seem to be working.
In our exclusive FOX4 poll done with Emerson College and The Hill, 33% of the 1,000 likely Missouri Republican voters say they’re supporting Schmitt. Meanwhile, 21% say they’ll support Hartzler. Just 16% say they’ll vote for Greitens.
“It appears that Trump will likely endorse Eric Greitens,” Manchester said before Trump’s announcement. “He’s obviously a very controversial candidate, and I think Trump’s first priority in Tuesday’s primaries is obviously Arizona. He’s very much focused on that race, but I think he did not necessarily want to get involved too early with Greitens just because he has so much baggage.”
In our poll, we also asked if the former president endorsed a candidate, would that make you more or less likely to vote for that candidate. Results showed 41% said they’d be more likely to vote for that candidate. But 22% said they’d be less likely, and 37% say it’d make no difference.
“The Trump endorsement doesn’t carry as much weight here in Missouri, as we’ve seen in other states where only 41% said they were more likely,” Emerson College Polling Executive Director Spender Kimball said July 25.
“But I think that that is primarily due to his statements about Hartzler in that essentially he’s made a non-endorsement, and so I think attitudes have been formed now where they would be less likely, so I think that’s impacted that question a little.”
Trump’s post also comes just a day after he slammed a poll from Remington Research that had Trump in the lead among president hopefuls in Missouri in 2024, but not in enough of a lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Remington is owned by Axiom Strategies, which consults for U.S. Senate candidate Schmitt.