THE NODLER FACTOR
Name I.D. Favors Appropriations Chair in 7th District Race
The early frontrunner in the race to replace Congressman Roy Blunt has not decided if he's running yet.
Joplin State Sen. Gary Nodler has the edge over his Republican rivals in the scrambled 7th Congressional District race, according to a new poll released to The Notebook Monday.
A March poll taken by Wilson Research Strategies shows Nodler leading the ballot with 35 percent of the vote. The Senate Appropriations chair holds a 10 point advantage over two rivals who have already officially announced their candidacies, State Sen. Jack Goodman and auctioneer Billy Long.
7th District Poll
The telephone poll of 300 likely GOP primary voters was taken between March 9th and 10th. Kansas City-based political consulting group Axiom Strategies was the client for the poll, but did not pay for it.
"Although the race is a long way off and voters have not yet engaged in a serious way, Senator Gary Nodler is currently in the best position among current candidates to win the Republican nomination for Missouri's 7th Congressional district," reads a memo written by Wilson Research.
"Senator Nodler, along with Billy Long, currently has the best name ID of any of the potential Republican candidates in the race," it goes on. "Senator Nodler is the only candidate who appeals to both social and fiscal conservatives."
In February, Nodler was noncommittal on the race. "Filing is 13 months away, so there's no rush to make a decision. My decision won't be based on any other candidate's timeline to make their own decision," Nodler said.
This poll finds that 40 percent of voters rate economic issues as their top concern. Among those voters, Nodler almost holds a 2-to-1 advantage over the next closest candidate.
49 percent of respondents said they have "heard of" Nodler. But Long's name identification is just as strong, with a 48% "heard of" rating.
Wilson's conclusion: "Gary Nodler is in a position to take a healthy portion of the very conservative vote while dominating the soft conservatives and moderates. Jack Goodman and John Putnam are limited to fight over the very conservative vote to win, allowing Gary Nodler to build a winning coalition across the entire primary electorate."