Former President Donald Trump on the eve of the Missouri primaries gave his much-coveted endorsement in thefor Missouri’s open Senate seat, but there was some confusion about who had been selected.
“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 wrote in a statement Monday night.
And with that, Trump apparently eliminated anyone in the field of 19 who is not named Eric. There are two leading candidates who share the first name: Attorney General Eric Schmitt and former Attorney General, and one candidate trailing them.
The semi-endorsement came as Schmitt has broken ahead in recent polls, including one by Emerson College released in late July where he led Rep. Vicky Hartzler by 12 points. Greitens was third in that poll.
Greitens, a controversial candidate who resigned in 2018 after a sex scandal and misuse of campaign funds, has been dropping in the polls since June after more than $11 million has been spent on the airwaves by outside groups to keep him from winning the primary and potentially putting this state at play in November’s general election.
Earlier this year, Greitens’ ex-wife has also claimed he abused her and their son, allegations that the Greitens campaign has denied. Sheena Greitens repeated the allegations on Twitter on Monday.
Shortly after Trump’s statement, both Greitens and Schmitt claimed to have Trump’s full support.
“President Trump has looked at the candidates and all that’s at stake in this race, and he has given me his COMPLETE AND TOTAL ENDORSEMENT!” read a campaign fundraising email from Schmitt.
Making matters more complicated, there is a third Eric in the race: Eric McElroy. In a statement, Hartzler said “Congrats to Eric McElroy. He’s having a big night.”
Trump said in July that he explicitly would not endorse Hartzler.