Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley caught in Missouri Senate endorsement battle as GOP fears grow over Eric Greitens

Two Republicans who led the Senate effort to overturn the 2020 election results on Jan. 6 are facing off in Missouri in the GOP primary to succeed retiring Sen. Roy Blunt.

The race has been described as a "clown show" and there are fears Democrats may come away with their first Senate victory in the Show Me State since Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) won re-election a decade ago.

"Newly released polling in Missouri bolsters an argument Senate Republican leadership has made for months: Former Gov. Eric Greitens could be an unusually weak red-state nominee," Politico reported Wednesday. "Greitens, who resigned mid-term in 2018, has led the crowded Republican field in early polling for the state’s open Senate seat. But according to a recent survey done for a private third-party and obtained by Politico, Greitens would have just a slim lead over Democrat Lucas Kunce if the general election were held today."

The Republican primary is scheduled for Aug. 2.

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"Top Republicans have cautioned that if Greitens emerges as the Senate nominee, it could cost the party an otherwise safe Senate seat," Politico reported. "The former governor was investigated in 2018 by Sen. Josh Hawley, then the state attorney general, over Greitens’ use of a charity’s donor list to solicit campaign funds, before Hawley turned the findings over to a St. Louis prosecutor. Greitens was subsequently charged with computer tampering, though the charge was dropped as part of a deal with prosecutors to resign from office."

On Saturday, Hawley endorsed Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) during a speech at the Missouri Republican Party's Lincoln Days.

But Hawley's endorsement did not result in a rush of momentum for Hartzler, instead there was a scandal after Rep. Bill Long (R-MO) accused Hawley of lying to his face about the endorsement.

On Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) endorsed Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmidt.