Political Rewind: Final Weekend of Campaign Season Proves Vital
McCaskill and Akin head into final weekend of heated race, money in politics and more—our roundup of some of the Missouri political stories that hit the media this week.
Editor's Note: The following articles were aggregated from several news organizations in Missouri. You can read more about each story by clicking on the headline.
McCaskill, Akin headed into final weekend of heated Senate race (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Missouri's nationally watched U.S. Senate race heads into its final weekend with incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill making a mad scramble around the state in the shadow of polls showing Republican challenger Todd Akin gaining on her.
“It reminds me a little bit of when you try a case,” McCaskill, a former prosecutor, said on her campaign RV between stops Wednesday night. “It's the last five days of deliberations.”
Akin, meanwhile, is apparently sticking to his strategy of quietly shoring up support among his conservative base, eschewing high-visibility events—and, some claim, being ostracized by other Republican candidates who are traveling the state without him.
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Last-minute outside money flows into Todd Akin campaign (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Last-minute money has flowed into Missouri to bolster Todd Akin’s U.S. Senate campaign with TV advertisements despite previous vows by some national groups to boycott the Republican’s campaign.
The Now or Never super PAC said Thursday that it had increased a recent buy to $1 million between now and election day on ads to benefit Akin’s Senate campaign. The group has produced a commercial seeking to make voters comfortable with Akin. It makes a case that he would be a vote to help institute Mitt Romney’s agenda if Romney becomes president. The ad is running on broadcast and cable in St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia/Jefferson City, and Springfield.
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Snippets from the campaign trail: Nixon uses recycled material (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
If it worked last time, why change it? That might be Gov. Jay Nixon’s re-election slogan.
In a stump speech he gave this month to supporters in Cameron, Mo., Nixon recycled some lines that he used frequently in his 2008 campaign for governor.
In one anecdote, he recounts how it was his job as a youth to answer the phone during dinnertime. At the time, his mother was on the school board and his dad was the mayor of De Soto.
Nixon said the caller could be someone with a sewer problem or “somebody whose kid didn’t get enough playing time on the basketball team and wanted to complain to the school board about the basketball coach. So I started in politics in constituent service.
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No new requirements for voter ID this year in Missouri (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Responding to an ongoing national debate over voter ID requirements, the Missouri secretary of state’s office has created an online “voter identification education toolkit” to make sure Missourians know what they will need to show at the polls Tuesday.
To sum it up: Nothing new.
“In Missouri, ID requirements have not changed from prior elections," Secretary of State Robin Carnahan said in a statement.
Four states will require voters to show photo identification to cast regular ballots in this year's election, but Missouri remains among the ones with more diverse ID options. Voters here can show bank statements, utility bills andgovernment checks, among other common forms of identification, such as drivers’ licenses and college IDs. (Full list with examples and exemption provision)
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Social issues are once again front and center in Missouri's elections (St. Louis Beacon)
For decades, Missouri has been at the center of the national debate over reproductive rights, hailing back to the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized most abortions. Abortion, contraception and stem-cell research have sparked annual battles in the Missouri General Assembly, where Republicans have ruled for a decade.
This year’s election is no different – other than the activities of both sides may be more public.
Missouri Right to Life, the state’s most active anti-abortion group, has for decades blanketed church parking lots and other locales with its fliers that identify which candidates are adequately “pro-life” and which ones are not. This year is no different.
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Black voters turned out for Obama 4 years ago, but will they this time? (St. Louis Beacon)
In 2008, black voters supported then-Democratic candidate Barack Obama overwhelmingly, and gave him 95 percent of the black vote. Among Hispanics, 67 percent voted for Obama. This year, though, minority voters may be less enthusiastic about Obama, and turnout may lag behind last time.
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Billionaires, shadowy groups fuel pricey election (Jefferson City News-Tribune)
Billionaires, anonymous donors and shadowy outside groups funneled enormous amounts of money into this year's federal elections, as the cost of the presidential campaign surged past $2 billion and is expected to set a record. Despite grumbling among watchdog groups and even candidates themselves, don't expect serious changes any time soon.
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Spence criticizes Nixon’s handling of economy (Jefferson City News-Tribune)
Republican gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence called for improved efforts on economic development while campaigning Wednesday near an abandoned artificial sweetener plant that Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon had said could employ more than 600 people.