September 11, 2004


Has swing state Missouri already swung? (DAVID GOLDSTEIN and STEVE KRASKE, 9/11/04, The Kansas City Star)

Missouri has long been a pivotal swing state in presidential elections, but political pollsters, strategists and activists wonder if it might be swinging the Republicans' way.

Recent events hint that Sen. John Kerry's camp is acknowledging that by pulling back his efforts here and shifting resources elsewhere.

His campaign — surprisingly — did not include Missouri with the 14 other competitive states where it plans to run its latest round of television advertising. [...]

[M]issouri, which now has two Republican senators and a majority of GOP congressmen, is looking more and more like “red state” Kansas. Shifts in population and the rise of culturally conservative issues as political touchstones have led most notably to the GOP takeover of the General Assembly in recent years.

“We've seen a very slow shift to Missouri becoming a more Republican state,” said state Sen. Matt Bartle, a Republican from Lee's Summit. “Rural Missourians who historically have been strong Democrats have on many of the social issues identified more closely with the Republican Party.”

If true, that could mean trouble for Kerry and other Democrats. Only once in the last 100 years has the White House winner not won Missouri.

Why would the Kerry camp even dream it could win a state that George Bush carried in '00 and that tossed an incumbent Democratic Senator in '02?

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 11, 2004 6:14 PM

Well, technically tossed an incumbent Democratic Senator - Jean Carnahan would never have been a US Senator if Mel Carnahan hadn't died so close to the election, and Lt. Gov. Roger Wilson hadn't let it be known that he'd put Jean in, if the voters elected Mel posthumously.
Really, voters just carried through with what they meant to do in '00.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at September 11, 2004 8:53 PM

We also "tossed" an incumbent Democratic governor recently in the gubernatorial primaries. I haven't seen any polls, though, concerning the race between the Republican candidate and the new Democratic candidate.

Posted by: Hunter Ratliff at September 11, 2004 9:08 PM

The nominee of the Democratic party is a leftie who is going down really hard, so I understand.

This is a huge story because Missouri was a state that Kerry thought he could win,especially given the amount of vote fraud that occured in St Louis last time.

Posted by: Bart at September 11, 2004 10:31 PM

At the rate Kerry is going they will be posting articles about California as a swing state.
Hunter - I haven't checked recently but right after the primaries I think Blount and the Dem candidate were pretty much even. If Bush wins with a sizable margin in MO Blount should be able to pull it out.

Posted by: AWW at September 11, 2004 10:48 PM