Missouri is one of five open seats that Republicans are currently defending for 2022, and the GOP primary to succeed retiring Sen. Roy Blunt has, predictably, drawn a large field. But while there were nearly a dozen major names first bandied about when the longtime lawmaker announced his decision in March, over the past several weeks, decisions by several potential candidates appear to have the field roughly in place ahead of a primary next August — setting the stage for a brutal year-long intraparty battle which could leave Republicans with a controversial nominee.

The elephant in the room is former Governor Eric Greitens, who’s attempting to revive his once-promising political career after resigning in May 2018, just over a year into his first term, amid a sex scandal. Nonetheless, given his name ID — and attempt to position himself as the most Trump-friendly candidate in the field — Greitens currently leads the pack, according to both his own polling from Trump pollster Tony Fabrizio and sources in the state. He only has to win a plurality of the vote

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