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Blog Home Page --> Senate -- Missouri

As Obama Visits Missouri, Senate Candidate Heads To DC

In February, Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, the likely Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Kit Bond, released a statement strongly criticizing the Obama administration's proposed budget. She called it disappointing, and said it was "time Washington started making fiscal discipline and tackling the long-term budget deficit higher priorities." The next day, her campaign actually highlighted a series of articles that cast her statement as showing independence from the White House.

Today, President Obama comes to Missouri to sell his health care plan, but Carnahan won't be there to welcome him. Coincidentally, as Obama heads west Carnahan has come east to Washington. Her campaign says she's there on long-scheduled official business, "meeting with financial regulators and policymakers to demand strong federal action to hold Wall Street bankers accountable and better protect consumers."

While in Missouri, Obama is also set to attend a fundraiser benefiting the Show Me State's junior senator Claire McCaskill, a fierce advocate for Obama during the 2008 campaign. The event will also benefit the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, and both the White House and Carnahan's camp says those funds will indirectly support Carnahan's campaign. But Republicans are looking painting a different picture, saying the White House has "written off the Carnahan campaign."

Continue reading "As Obama Visits Missouri, Senate Candidate Heads To DC" »

Democratic Senate Candidate Rips Obama Budget

[UPDATED with White House reaction.]

Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan is one of Democrats' top recruits for U.S. Senate in 2010. So her reaction to the Obama administration's budget proposal announced today is striking in its criticism:

"From where I stand here in Missouri, I'm disappointed in the President's budget recommendation. Budgets are about setting priorities and it's time Washington started making fiscal discipline and tackling the long-term budget deficit higher priorities.

"For too long, officials in Washington, including Congressman Blunt, have contributed to our country's growing deficit with their wasteful government spending, earmarks and favors for corporate special interests. In fact, as part of the Republican Congressional leadership, Congressman Blunt helped turn a $128 million surplus in 2001 into a $1.2 trillion deficit by 2009.

"Missouri families have to balance their checkbooks and our government should be no different, so I urge our elected officials in Washington on both sides of the aisle to work together to get our country's long term deficit under control."

Running against Rep. Roy Blunt (R), a former member of the GOP House leadership, Carnahan's statement is an interesting threading of the needle to lump all of Washington together, even a Democratic White House.

UPDATE: Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton says the White House "look[s] forward to having Robin Carnahan in the Senate to work with in putting our nation on a fiscally sustainable path."

MO Sen Poll: Blunt Takes First Lead

The bellwether Show Me State may have another indication of the shifting political wins. Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) has held a consistent but narrow lead over Rep. Roy Blunt (R) in the state's Senate race. But a new Rasmussen survey (1/19, 500 LVs, MoE +/- 4.5%) shows that Blunt has now jumped out to a 6-point lead.

General Election Matchup
Blunt 49 (+5 vs. last poll, 12/15)
Carnahan 43 (-3)
Und 5 (-1)

Favorable Ratings
Blunt 56 / 34
Carnahan 49 / 46

President Obama has an approval rating of 41 percent, down six points since the December survey. His disapproval is up to 58 percent, from 53 percent last month. Only 37 percent of voters say they support the health care legislation, while 62 percent oppose.

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, also elected in 2008, boasts a strong 61 percent approval rating.

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MO Senate Poll: Dead Heat

Public Policy Polling (D) revisits the Missouri Senate race today, an in the expected matchup of Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) and Rep. Roy Blunt (R), the result is just where it was at the start of the year.

General Election Matchup
Carnahan 43 (-2 vs. last poll, 1/10-11)
Blunt 42 (-2)
Und 15 (+4)

In another matchup, Carnahan leads state Sen. Chuck Purgason 42-35. Blunt leads Purgason in a GOP primary matchup, 53-16. You can find more polling on the race here.

Carnahan is the daughter of Missouri's late Gov. Mel Carnahan and former Sen. Jean Carnahan, who took her husband's seat when he was posthumously elected in 2000. She boasts the strongest name recognition and favorable score of the group.

Favorable Ratings
Carnahan 40 / 36
Blunt 30 / 38
Purgason 7 / 14

President Obama has just a 43 percent approval rating in the Show Me State; 52 percent disapprove of his job performance. The proposed health care reform bill is very unpopular, supported by just 34 percent of Missourians and opposed by 55 percent.

"If Robin Carnahan had faced off against Roy Blunt in any election year between 1996 and 2008 she would likely have won given her superior popularity," PPP's Dean Debnam says in a polling memo. "But 2010 has the potential to be an extremely good year for Republicans, and that's made this race highly competitive."

Democracy Corps: Carnahan With Early Lead

Secretary of State Robin Carnhan (D) leads two potential Republican opponents, Rep. Roy Blunt and former Treasurer Sarah Steelman, in a new Democracy Corps survey by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (April 28-30, 800 LV, MoE +/- 3.5%).

Carnahan 53
Blunt 44

Carnahan 54
Steelman 42

Blunt Makes Senate Bid Official

Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) announced this morning that he will run for the U.S. Senate in Missouri. A former teacher and university president, Blunt made the announcement at Harris-Stowe University in St. Louis. You can watch his announcement here.

"So why now? Why me?" Blunt said. "It's an important time. The fight is in the Senate."

After representing southwestern Missouri in the House since 1996, the St. Louis setting was deliberate, as Blunt aims to boost Republican support in and around the city.

"I'm gonna be in St. Louis a lot," Blunt said. "St. Louis is a priority in our campaign. The whole state is a priority. But frankly, St. Louis is where Republican candidates have seen the most slippage in the last few elections. And I don't intend for that to happen in 2010."

The former House Republican whip has also served as Missouri's secretary of state, winning statewide in 1984 and 1988. He lost the GOP primary for governor in 1992. He now seeks to replace retiring Sen. Kit Bond (R), who has held the seat since 1986.

Prior to the announcement, Blunt told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he's not worried about a potential Republican primary challenge from former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman.

"Sarah can't win the primary," Blunt said. "If there's a primary, I'll win it."

Blunt said if he and Steelman face off, he doesn't expect it will be as "destructive" as the primary for governor last year between Steelman and Kenny Hulshof. In that race, Blunt, and the entire Republican establishment, backed Hulshof. But Steelman narrowly lost. And she beat Hulshof in Blunt's back yard, winning both Greene County and the 7th District.

"If we have a primary, I don't think it will be destructive," Blunt said. "I think this will not be the same kind of primary we saw in the last election."