Democrats are overwhelmingly confident that Missouri Governor Jay Nixon will be re-elected to a second term in Jefferson City. They are pessimistic that a Democrat will occupy the office that is second in line.
In the latest unscientific Patch Blue Arch survey conducted Thursday through Saturday morning, 21 activists, current and former officials, and voters responded to questions about the party's statewide ticket.
When asked "Which statewide candidate are you most confident will win in November," 81 percent answered Jay Nixon, who is running against St. Louis area businessman Dave Spence, a political newcomer. Chris Koster received 14 point 3 percent and 4.8 percent answered Clint Zweifel.
Why? Democrats said it is because Nixon is downplaying his party ID.
"Spence is not a viable challenger and Nixon is running as an Independent," said one respondent.
"I think Nixon will win, because he has stayed a low key democrat. He has done a good job handling all the natural disasters that have occur in the last four years," said another.
A third respondent said Spence's "attempts to turn Nixon's ties to Democrats into election fodder can't get traction when Nixon is so obviously shunning the party."
The numbers show an uptick in confidence in the Nixon campaign since Patch asked panelists the same question in late September.
Also rising since the same query last month is the percentage of respondents who are concerned about the candidacy of Susan Montee for Lieutenant Governor, running against incumbent Peter Kinder. The former State Auditor's campaign was cited by 61 point 9 percent of respondents when asked, "Which statewide candidate are you most concerned about in November."
Chris Koster, running for a second term as Attorney General was next at 19.1 percent, also up since the first poll, followed by Nixon at 9.5 percent, and Kander and Zweifel at 4 point 8 percent.
"She is the only statewide Democrat who is running against a Republican incumbent. It's always hard to beat the incumbent regardless of party," one respondent said of Montee.
"Even with an opponent that is damaged, Montee is running against a well liked opponent. If Montee were to win, I believe all the other Democrats will win," said another, referencing the issues Kinder has faced over his use of taxpayer dollars in recent years on St. Louis area hotel bills and visiting an area strip club.
Or could it be apathy? "Kinder has a lot of past issues, but Montee hasn't been seen much in St. Louis. People don't seem to care much about this office," one person wrote.
About The Red Arch/Blue Arch Surveys
Patch political surveys are not a scientific random sample of any larger population, but rather an effort to listen to a swath of influential local Republican and Democratic activists, party leaders and elected officials in Missouri. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in the surveys, although not all responded to this week's questions.
Patch will be conducting Red Arch and Blue Arch surveys throughout 2012 in hopes of determining the true sentiment of conservatives, liberals and moderates on the ground in Missouri.
If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in a bi-weekly survey that lasts just a few minutes, please email Gregg.Palermo@patch.com.
The Blue Arch Roster: Jake Zimmerman (St. Louis County Assessor), Bert Boxerman (Creve Coeur Township Committeeman), Tracy McCreery (State Representative), Jeanne Antoine (Olivette City Council), Missy Waldman (Olivette City Council), Richard Callow (PR Strategist), John Callahan (Committeeman for St. Charles County Township), Julie Biermann (Committeewoman for St. Charles County Township), Charissa Mayes (Committeewoman for St. Charles County Township), Jerry Daugherty (St. Charles County Councilman), Keith English (Florissant City Councilman/State Rep. candidate), Mary Elizabeth Dorsey (Florissant Township Committeewoman), Chuck Banks (Former Jefferson County Executive), Jo Ann Karll (DNC Convention delegate), Mary Broida (Fenton Committeewoman), Bob Usher (Voter), Tammy Vent (Rock Township Committeewoman), LaDonna Appelbaum (Convention Delegate), Timothy Green (State Senator), Gina Mitten (Richmond Heights Councilmember/State Rep. Candidate), Jill Schupp (State Representative), Jim Descher (Voter), Ken Curtis (West County Democrats Co-Chair), Steve Biggs (Meramec Township Committeeman), John Niemeyer (Meramec Township), Jim Frain (Voter), Julie Dougherty (Voter), Linda Robson (Voter), Jim McHugh (Aide to former St. Louis County Executive), Molly McHugh (St. Louis County Planning Commission), Bob Burns (Affton School Board), Mark Powell (Former Arnold Mayor), John Messmer (Former DNC alternative delegate), Karl Frank, Jr. (Former Mehlville School Board Member/Activist), Donna Seidel (activist), Tom Diehl (Former School Board Member/Activist), Jim Barrett (Activist), Harvey Ferdman (Maryland Heights Township 2nd VP), Rod Jennings (University City School Board Member), Jane Dueker (Former Assistant AG/Chief of Staff To Governor Bob Holden), Gina Walsh (State Senate Candidate), Morton Todd (St. Charles County Democratic Committee Chairman), Mary "Kate" Laughlin (Voter), Rod Hoffman (State Rep. Candidate), Beverly Cowling (Voter), Bill Stinson (State Rep.), Russ Craven (St. Charles County Democratic Central Committee), Theresa Borchert (Voter), Jim Karll (Voter), Jeff Wagener (Former St. Louis County Councilman), Pat Dolan (St. Louis County Council), Stacey Newman (State Representative), Cheryl Hibbeler (Former St. Charles County Council Representative), Deb Lavender (State Rep. Candidate), Kevin O'Malley (Fundraiser/Alternate Convention Delegate), Susan Meredith (State Rep. candidate), Susan Montee (Lt. Governor candidate), Bob Burns (State Rep. Candidate), Jim Karll (St. Charles County Democrats), Gloria Nickerson (Activist), Maureen Rogers-Bouxsein (Activist), Jo Ann Hughes (Activist)