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Missouri gubernatorial election, 2012

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The Missouri gubernatorial election took place on November 6, 2012, following a primary on August 7, 2012.

Democratic Party Jay Nixon (D)Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Dave Spence (R)
Libertarian Party Jim Higgins (L)

Incumbent Jay Nixon (D) won a second term as Governor of Missouri on November 6, 2012.[1]

Nixon won the August 7th Democratic primary election and defeated Republican Dave Spence and Libertarian Jim Higgins in the general election.[2]

Spence, a businessman from St. Louis, officially announced his candidacy on November 15, 2011. The move was a surprise to many Republicans, as Spence had previously said he would only run if current Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder, believed to be the preferred GOP candidate, did not.[3] Three days after Spence's announcement, Kinder said he would not be seeking the nomination for governor, but would seek another term as lieutenant governor instead.[4] Spence went on to defeat Bill Randles, Fred Sauer and John Weiler in the Republican primary.[5]

In the months leading up to the general election, polls consistently showed Nixon leading by a comfortable margin over his Republican challenger, and campaign finance reports further indicated a likely victory for the incumbent. Despite his diminishing threat to Nixon's re-election, as of October, Spence's determination to unseat Nixon only intensified, with a stream of profile-raising TV spots and massive eleventh-hour donations from the Republican Governors Association to match Nixon's million dollar infusion from his party's counterpart organization.[6] According to campaign finance reports filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission, Spence threw an additional $500,000 of his own money into his campaign on October 24th, bringing his tab for the election cycle up to that point to a hefty $5 million.[7]

The negative advertising campaigns on both sides culminated on October 12th when Spence filed a defamation lawsuit against Nixon in Cole County Circuit Court for an advertisement claiming Spence used his position as a bank board member to arrange an "insider loan" of federal bailout money to buy a vacation home. Spence firmly denied any link between the loan and the $40 million in bailout money the bank received in 2009, before he joined the board, and said he was not present when the other board officials made their decision to approve the $1.1 million loan.[8]

Partly in reaction to the banker ads, Spence told the press days before filing suit that Nixon had "sold his soul to the devil" trying to win re-election.[8]

Nixon's campaign manager refused requests to take down the ad, where it was then airing in markets across Missouri. "You see a lot of crazy stunts during the course of a campaign, but this frivolous lawsuit is misguided and desperate," he said.[8]


[edit]

General Election

Governor of Missouri General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJay Nixon Incumbent 54.8% 1,494,056
     Republican Dave Spence 42.5% 1,160,265
     Libertarian Jim Higgins 2.7% 73,509
Total Votes 2,727,830
Election Results via Missouri Secretary of State.

Primary Election

Missouri Governor Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJay Nixon Incumbent 86% 270,140
William B. Campbell 8.2% 25,775
Clay Thunderhawk 5.8% 18,243
Total Votes 314,158
Election Results Via:Missouri Secretary of State.


Missouri Governor Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDave Spence 59.9% 333,682
Bill Randles 16.3% 90,686
Fred Sauer 15.1% 84,019
John D. Weiler 8.8% 49,019
Total Votes 557,406
Election Results Via:Missouri Secretary of State.


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Key Dates

Deadline Event
Feb. 28 - Mar. 27 Primary election candidate filing period
July 11 Voter registration for primary election
Aug. 7 Primary election
July 17 - Aug. 21 General election candidate filing period
Oct. 10 Voter registration for general election
Nov. 6 General election

Race tracking

See also: Ballotpedia Election Racetracking
2012 Race Rankings - Missouri Governor
Race Tracker Race Rating
The Cook Political Report[9] Lean Democratic
Governing Politics[10] Lean Democratic
Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball[11] Likely Democrat
Rasmussen Reports Gubernatorial Scorecard[12] No prediction yet
The Rothenberg Political Report[13] Lean Democrat
Overall Call

Race background

Early in 2011, it looked to be an uphill battle for Nixon in his bid. In March 2011, he received a 61 percent approval rating in a poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican consulting firm. The governor's "strong" approval rating, however, was 13 percent, the same as where Nixon tested in February 2009, according to Neil Newhouse, partner and co-founder of the polling firm. The score was "extremely low," Newhouse said. "Generally, an incumbent governor's 'strong' job approval score should be about half of his overall approval score, meaning that Nixon's should have been around 30 percent."[14]

Nixon continued to lead by 45 percent to 38 percent over Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (R), who was expected to run against Nixon for the state's top political spot in 2012. Nixon had above average approval numbers, with 47 percent of voters happy with the job he was doing to 31 percent who disapproved, according to Public Policy Polling, which conducts polls mostly for Democrats. Nixon had almost as many Republicans -- 32 percent -- who approved of his performance as there were who were unhappy -- 40 percent -- according to the analysis by PPP. "It's rare to see any politician come that close to breaking even across party lines," PPP concluded.[15] While Nixon's fate appeared up in the air, his candidacy received a boost in November when Kinder, following a controversy where he was photographed with an ex-stripper in a bar, announced he would not be running.[16]

2013
2011
2012
State Executive Official Elections

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General election

Democratic Party Jay Nixon (D)Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Dave Spence (R)
Libertarian Party Jim Higgins (L)

Primary election

Donkey symbol.png Democratic primary candidates

Gop logo2.jpg Republican primary candidates

Libertarian Party candidates

Withdrawn candidates

General election

Missouri Governor Race
Poll Jay Nixon (D) Dave Spence (R)Jim Higgins (L) **Poll#2,7 only**UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Chilenski Strategies Poll
(August 8, 2012)
52.7%38.5%0%8.8%+/-3.8663
Survey USA Poll
(August 12, 2012)
51%37%5%6%+/-4.1585
Public Policy Poll
(August 20-23, 2012)
46%37%0%16%+/-4.4500
YouGov Poll
(September 7-14, 2012)
51%33%0%16%+/-4.0758
Public Policy Poll
(October 1-3, 2012)
54%35%0%12%+/-3.7700
Public Policy Poll
(October 19-21, 2012)
51%40%0%8%+/-4.1582
Post-Dispatch/ Mason-Dixon poll
(October 23-25, 2012)
48%42%1%9%+/-4.0625
Kiley & Company Poll
(October 24-26, 2012)
55%33%0%12%+/-3.5600
Survey USA Poll
(Oct. 28-Nov. 3, 2012)
48%39%5%8%+/-4.1589
AVERAGES 50.74% 37.17% 1.22% 10.64% +/-3.97 622.44
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Primary election

Between May 24th and 27th, Public Policy Polling surveyed 430 Republican primary voters in Missouri. The respondents were give hypothetical match-ups between Jay Nixon and the two most popular Republican candidates, and asked which of the two candidates they would vote for.[18]

Hypothetical match-ups for Governor of Missouri
Bill RandlesDave Spence
Percent of the vote32%34%
Jay Nixon's percent of the vote46%45%


Republican primary candidates
Poll Bill Randles Fred SauerDave SpenceJohn WeilerAnother candidateNot sure/UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Polling*
January 27-29, 2012
15%12%0%0%0%74%+/-4.1574
Public Policy Polling
May 24-27, 2012
11%4%32%1%10%43%+/-4.7430
AVERAGES 13% 8% 16% 0.5% 5% 58.5% +/-4.4 502
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

* The January poll was conducted before Missouri's candidate filing deadline (March 27th) and did not include Fred Sauer or John Weiler.

Contents
1 Due dates for reports
2 Candidates

Due dates for reports

The Missouri Ethics Commission administers campaign finance law and maintains all records online.

For the primary election:

  • April Quarterly report -- due by April 16, 2012
  • July Quarterly report -- due by July 16, 2012
  • 8 day before report -- due by July 30, 2012
  • 30 day after report -- due by September 6, 2012

For the general election:

  • Personal financial disclosure -- due by September 4, 2012
  • October Quarterly report -- due by October 15, 2012
  • 8 day before report -- due by October 29, 2012
  • 30 day after report -- due by December 6, 2012

Candidates

Jay Nixon

Jay Nixon Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[19]April 16, 2012$8,150,553.85$1,713,610.88$(570,111.15)$6,130,704.05
July Quarterly[20]July 16, 2012$6,130,704.05$2,092,322.27$(585,637.26)$7,603,044.49
Post-PrimarySeptember 6, 2012$7,099,790.34$981,935.27$(1,728,436.78)$6,304,788.83
General Election First Report[21]October 15, 2012$6,304,788.83$704,979.31$(2,071,971.31)$4,937,796.48
Pre-General[22]October 29, 2012$4,937,796.48$1,425,717.60$(4,769,683.77)$1,593,830.31
Running totals
$6,918,565.33$(9,725,840.27)

Dave Spence

Dave Spence Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[23]April 16, 2012$2,307,576.95$843,372.83$(1,362,318.80)$1,744,137.88
July Quarterly[24]July 16, 2012$1,744,137.88$1,027,706.49$(1,576,327.31)$1,171,538.32
Post-PrimarySeptember 7, 2012$244,993.14$1,537,700.00$(311,874.99)$1,446,510.88
General Election First Report[25]October 15, 2012$1,446,510.88$1,411,451.00$(1,341,522.53)$1,516,439.35
Pre-General[26]October 29, 2012$1,516,439.35$2,524,581.55$(3,755,204.39)$285,816.51
Running totals
$7,344,811.87$(8,347,248.02)

Jim Higgins

Jim Higgins Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
July Quarterly[27]July 30, 2012$0.00$1,709.00$(1,144.00)$565.00
Running totals
$1,709$(1,144)

Former candidates

Clay Thunderhawk

Thunderhawk did not file any campaign finance information by the April 16, 2012 quarterly deadline.[28]

William Campbell

William Campbell submitted a Statement of Exemption for the first filing deadline. To qualify for a waiver a candidate must not have:

  • Received more than five hundred dollars in total contributions
  • Made total expenditures of more than five hundred dollars[29]

Republican

John Weiler

John Weiler submitted a Statement of Exemption for the first filing deadline. To qualify for a waiver a candidate must not have:

  • Received more than five hundred dollars in total contributions
  • Made total expenditures of more than five hundred dollars[30]

For the second filing deadline, he submitted a limited activity report in which he certified "that neither the aggregate amount of contributions received nor the aggregate amount of expenditures made by the committee exceeded five hundred dollars."[31]

Bill Randles

Bill Randles Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[32]April 16, 2012$5,176.53$35,170.94$(34,982.71)$5,364.76
July Quarterly[33]July 16, 2012$5,364.76$49,395.14$(48,797.77)$1,787.19
Post-PrimarySeptember 7, 2012$13,079.89$15,360.33$(24,358.61)$4,081.61
Running totals
$99,926.41$(108,139.09)

Fred Sauer

Fred Sauer Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
July Quarterly[34]July 16, 2012$0.00$230,940.61$(141,977.06)$82,752.94
Running totals
$230,940.61$(141,977.06)

Sauer did not file any campaign finance information by the April 16, 2012 quarterly deadline.[35]

Libertarian

Jim Higgins

Jim Higgins Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
July Quarterly[36]July 11, 2012$0.00$1,709.00$(1,144.00)$565.00
Running totals
$1,709$(1,144)

Higgins did not file any campaign finance information for the April 16, 2012 quarterly deadline or the 30 day post-primary report deadline.[37]

Leonard Steinman

Steinman did not file any campaign finance information during the 2012 election cycle.[38]

Democratic primary endorsements

Jay Nixon

  • Missouri Corn Growers Association[39]
  • The Kansas City Star[40]
  • The Democratic Governors Assocation[6]
  • Missouri Association of School Administrators[41]
  • Mayor of Neosho Richard Davidson (R)[42]

Republican primary endorsements

Dave Spence

  • The Kansas City Star[40]
  • Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie[43]
  • The Republican Governors Assocation[6]
  • Missouri Corrections Officers Assocation[44]
  • Missouri Chamber of Commerce PAC[44]
  • Missouri Farm Bureau Farm PAC[44]

Campaign sites

Libertarian PartyHiggins

Former candidates

Campaign ads

Jay Nixon


"Bailout"

"Values"

"Helping Himself"

"Differently"

Dave Spence


"Practice"

"Together"

"Failed"

"Sinking"

See also

External links

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Suggest a link

References

  1. Missouri Secretary of State, "November 6, 2012 General Election Results," accessed November 7, 2012
  2. Missouri Secretary of State, "Election Night Reporting: Unofficial primary results," accessed August 8, 2012
  3. St. Louis Post Dispatch, "David Spence to enter Republican primary for governor," November 16, 2011
  4. KY3, "Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder won't run for governor," November 18, 2011
  5. AP Election Results-Campaign 2012, "Missouri-Summary Vote Results," August 7, 2012
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 St Louis Post-Dispatch, "Missouri Republican Spence gets $950k from GOP governors group," October 9, 2012
  7. Missouri Ethics Commission, "Dave Spence Pre-General Election Campaign Finance Report," accessed October 30, 2012
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 The Columbia Tribune, "Spence files defamation suit," October 13, 2012
  9. The Cook Political Report, “Governors: Race Ratings”
  10. Governing Politics, “Looking Ahead: The 2011-2012 Gubernatorial Landscape”, December 2, 2010
  11. Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball', “2011 Governor Ratings”
  12. Rasmussen Reports', “Election 2010: Scorecard Ratings”
  13. Rothenberg Political Report, “Governor Ratings”
  14. "Nixon may face tough re-election, pollster says," Missouri Watchdog, March 9, 2011
  15. "Nixon holds modest lead over Kinder, poll finds," Missouri Watchdog, March 11, 2011
  16. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Peter Kinder drops out of governor's race," November 19, 2011
  17. Missouri Secretary of State, "Certified candidate list," accessed June 29, 2012
  18. Public Policy Polling, "Nixon leads Spence, Randles by big but shrinking margins," May 31, 2012
  19. Missouri Ethics Commission, "Jay Nixon: April Quarterly Report," April 16, 2012
  20. Missouri Ethics Commission, "Jay Nixon: July Quarterly Report," July 16, 2012
  21. Missouri Ethics Commission, "Jay Nixon Campaign Finance Reports," October 15, 2012
  22. Missouri Ethics Commission, "Jay Nixon Campaign Finance Reports," accessed October 29, 2012
  23. Missouri Ethics Commission," Spence for Governor: Committee disclosure report," accessed April 19, 2012
  24. Missouri Ethics Commission," Spence for Governor: Committee disclosure report," July 16, 2012
  25. Missouri Ethics Commission, "Dave Spence Campaign Finance Reports," October 15, 2012
  26. Missouri Ethics Commission, "Dave Spence Campaign Finance Reports," accessed October 29, 2012
  27. Missouri Ethics Commission," Jim Higgins July Quarterly Report, accessed October 16 2012
  28. Missouri Ethics Commission, "Registered candidates and candidate committees," accessed April 19, 2012
  29. Missouri Ethics Commission, "William Campbell: Statement of Exemption, filed April 4, 2012
  30. Missouri Ethics Commission, "John Weiler: Statement of Exemption, filed April 6, 2012
  31. Missouri Ethics Commission, "John D Weiler Committee: July quarterly report - Limited activity," July 10, 2012
  32. Missouri Ethics Commission, "Missourians for Randles: Committee disclosure report," accessed April 19, 2012
  33. Missouri Ethics Commission, "Missourians for Randles: Committee disclosure report," July 16, 2012
  34. Missouri Ethics Commission, Fred Sauer Governor: Committee disclosure report cover page," July 16, 2012
  35. Missouri Ethics Commission, "Registered candidates and candidate committees," accessed April 19, 2012
  36. Missouri Ethics Commission, "Jim Higgins for Governor: Committee disclosure report," July 11, 2012
  37. Missouri Ethics Commission, "Registered candidates and candidate committees," accessed April 19, 2012
  38. Missouri Ethics Commission, "Registered candidates and candidate committees," accessed April 19, 2012
  39. The Republic.com, "Mo. corn growers endorse Democratic Gov. Nixon's re-election campaign," July 25, 2012
  40. 40.0 40.1 Kansas City Star, "The Star's recommendations: The top candidates for state offices in Missouri," July 27, 2012
  41. Missouri Association of School Administrators, "MASA Endorses Gov. Jay Nixon for Re-Election: Governor’s Experienced Leadership Strengthens Schools & Communities," October 6, 2012
  42. Four States Home Page, "Neosho Mayor Supports Nixon's Re-election," October 9, 2012
  43. KSPR.com, "GOP heavyweight Gov. Chris Christie stumps for Dave Spence," September 23, 2012
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 Official Campaign Website Press Release, "Missouri Corrections Officers Association Endorses Dave Spence for Governor"