Democrats: John Brunner Would Be Toughest Challenge For Claire McCaskill

Patch 'Blue Arch' participants favored the Frontenac businessman over U.S. Rep. Todd Akin and former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman.

The re-election campaign of Missouri U.S. Senator has made headlines for a television ad strategy that goes after each of the three main Republican contenders in the GOP primary.

Political observers have wondered aloud if the ad approach shines more favorably on U.S. Rep. Todd Akin in hopes that the Wildwood Republican emerges in Tuesday's election.

But a Patch Blue Arch survey out Monday indicates Democrats may be most concerned if businessman defeats Akin and former State Treasurer  

More than 50 influential Democrats were asked using an automated survey tool what they thought about a variety of questions tied to the Senate primary, among other topics.

Twenty-nine responses were collected, and 48.3 percent said Brunner would be the toughest challenger followed by 34.5 percent who said Akin and and 17.2 percent who chose Steelman.

When given a chance to explain a reason behind their choice, here's what respondents had to say about their choice


  • "He has no voting history to answer for. Each of the others have a track record which contradicts their current stance on many issues."
  • "Brunner is a fresh face with no Washington baggage. He could very well mimic the campaign of Wisconsin Senator Johnson who unseated Senator Feingold with a campaign of being a successful businessperson who would fix things financially in Washington."
  • "Brunner has more money and resources than his Republican colleagues."


  • "Akin has better name recognition than Brunner."
  • "Akin seems to have greater name recognition when it comes to Brunner. And as far as Steelman goes, Republicans I know greatly prefer Akin to her."


  • "I think that Steelman has better rural credentials than the other R candidates. It will be more difficult for McCaskill to take votes from Steelman than the other 2."
  • "Women are the deciders in this election."


What do you think about the survey's results? Agree? Disagree? Tell us your opinion in the comment section.


About Patch Blue Arch/Red 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. Interviews for this poll were conducted between July 30 and August 3, 2012.

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.

Blue Arch Roster: Shelley Welsch (University City Mayor), 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 (blogger), Brynn Palmer (Voter), 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)

Tired of waste August 06, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Really....really......Do you think that Dems will tell the general public who will be the hardest to beat? If anything, they are saying Brunner will be the easiest. Why would they telegraph who will be the hardest to beat. It doesn't make sense. Brunner has no credentials other than being a business owner. He has finacially supported Dems before in their elections against very qualified Reps. (Dooley) and he has RINO principles like his main supporters, Danforth, Talent, Fox, Bush etc. They will say jump and he will say how high. Brunner is a Rino and will go which ever way the wind goes. Anyone but Brunner......
Joe Johnson August 07, 2012 at 04:42 AM
It's not about "winning"-- it's about principles. As soon as we put up a principled candidate, we will win. I'm suspicious of Brunner to say the least.


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