Democrats look to gain a senate seat in Missouri.
I discussed yesterday how GOP Super PACs have poured more money into saving its senate seats even though it appears the party will maintain its majority. Yet the GOP may lose a seat in Missouri as Democrat Jason Kander moves up in the polls and displays fresh confidence against incumbent Roy Blunt:
“The momentum is really clearly with us,” Mr. Kander, a Georgetown Law School graduate who served a term as a state legislator before being elected secretary of state, said at a small but lively campaign event in St. Louis on Saturday. ”It’s a very clear choice between somebody like myself, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who is focused on a new generation of leadership, and someone like Sen. Blunt, who has been in Washington for 20 years doing what special interests want to him to do.”
So why concentrate on Missouri? Well, Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) has moved far enough ahead of his opponent that the Democrats have written off Ohio as a lost cause. This has freed up more money within the Senate Leadership Fund, which has now dumped $7.8 million into Blunt’s campaign, an increase of $5.3 million:
“We have been concerned about this race for a long time,” said [Super PAC’s president Steven] Law, noting “a general sour political environment in Missouri that raised concerns for us about anybody running as an incumbent. Kander presented an appealing fresh face.”
Kander took the lead by two points in a poll from Emerson College, but Blunt still tops him in other polls. However, despite that fact, the Cook Political Report said the race is now a toss-up.
Kander recently received a boost after he released an ad showing him assembling an AR-15 rifle blindfolded. He has talked about gun rights and promised to uphold the 2nd Amendment.
However, as The Blaze‘s Dana Loesch points out, the National Rifle Association (NRA) gave Kander an F rating.
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 15, 2016
She even released a video why Kander is wrong for Missouri in the senate.
Blunt responded with his own ad, but his only received 14,000 views. Kander’s rifle ad has over one million views.
But Kander’s ad strong reception among voters pushed the Democrats’ Senate campaign committee to send in $3.5 million for new ads. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, even admired the ad. But he reminded voters there is more to Kander than his ability to assemble a gun:
And despite praising Kander’s ad, Wicker said Republicans would show the Democrat is wrong for Missouri by highlighting his support for President Barack Obama’s health care law, his F rating from the National Rifle Association and other issues. Republicans have been substantially outspending Democrats in the state so far.
“Jason Kander is really good at taking a gun apart and putting it back together. I expect also that he could ride a bull at a rodeo in a very effective manner. Perhaps he could do a lot of push-ups,” Wicker said. “When all of that is said and done the fact is he’s totally out of step with Missouri on the key issues that this campaign will revolve around.”
The whole election has annoyed the GOP since it should not be that difficult to defeat a Democrat in the state:
Privately some Republicans voice dismay that they have to intervene in the Missouri race to such an extent at a time when they’re defending incumbents in blue and purple states around the country. In an unpredictable political environment with Donald Trump at the top of the ticket, Republicans are trying to protect a slim 54-46 Senate majority against Democrats who are determined to retake control.
“It’s going to be closer than it ought to be I think, given the uniqueness of this election year, but Roy Blunt’s going to win,” said John Hancock, chairman of the Missouri Republican Party. “The reason Democrats are putting money into Missouri is they have failed to gain any traction in other Senate races across the country.”
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