MO-02: Wagner Moves From Likely Republican to Lean Republican
By David Wasserman
When GOP Rep. Ann Wagner announced she would forgo a Senate bid and run for reelection in 2018, most considered her a lock. But a new survey taken by Expedition Strategies for Democrat Cort VanOstran’s campaign shows the 29-year-old attorney leading Wagner 43 percent to 41 percent. At least one GOP poll shows Wagner with a robust lead, so it may be impossible to tell who’s right until November.
In 2016, these upscale St. Louis suburbs voted for President Trump 52 percent to 42 percent, but that was down from Mitt Romney’s 57 percent in 2012. VanOstran has built a local following and outraised Wagner $314,000 to $211,000 during the second quarter, though Wagner, a former Missouri GOP chair and ambassador to Luxembourg, still led $2.9 million to $454,000 in cash on hand in mid-July.
In his July primary ad, VanOstran talked about his mother’s battle with breast cancer and attacked Wagner’s vote to repeal the ACA while rolling footage of Wagner standing beside Trump in the Oval Office. Wagner has yet to go up on air for the general election. Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill will likely need to carry the 2nd CD to win reelection, and Wagner’s race is no longer a slam dunk.