Greitens, a Republican, used to be a Democrat. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images File Photo.)
Depending on how things shake out, Missouri voters could face a bizarro world next fall: A former Democrat running as the Republican nominee for governor against a Democrat who used to be a Republican.
Eric Greitens is part of a crowded and growing field of Republican candidates who will face off next August. As he launched a statewide tour earlier this month, the former Democrat attempted to turn what could be a weakness in the crowded Republican primary into a strength.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed Republican state Rep. Jason Smith in Missouri’s 8th District special election.
She vouched for him through her usual channel, Facebook, writing:
“Jason has worked tirelessly to build on the foundation of his humble beginnings and is a responsible and respected leader in the Show Me State. In Washington DC, Jason will maintain that innate sense of his community and will bring his commonsense conservatism to the halls of Congress. Jason recognizes that government is the problem, not the solution. He will protect our 2ndAmendment rights and work to promote a culture of life. We must all work together to send Mr. Smith to Washington on June 4th.”
While a Palin endorsement is sure to garner a candidate widespread attention, this one comes at an inconsequential time in the campaign. As the Republican nominee in a safely Republican district, Smith is already expected to cruise to a general election win on June 4.
Former state Rep. John Koster has been in damage control mode. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
In this election, some candidates have made unguarded comments at off-the-record fundraisers, while others have drawn fire for impolitic comments about women and rape.
Former state Rep. John Koster (R) has managed to do both. Koster, who remains closely tied with Democrat Suzan DelBene in Washington State’s 1st district, has been in damage control mode since Wednesday, when a progressive group released a secretly recorded audiotape of him saying that “the rape thing” does not justify abortion.
In the audiotape, posted on YouTube by the progressive group Fuse Washington, Koster responds to an unseen questioner who asks him: “Is there any time that you would agree with abortion?”
Koster’s reply includes the comment: “On the rape thing, it’s like: How does putting more violence onto a woman’s body and taking the life of an innocent child that’s the consequence of this crime – how does that make it better?”
The Senate campaign of Rep. Todd Akin (R) has taken the unusual step of posting an email exchange with a reporter on its campaign website.
On Tuesday afternoon, the campaign posted an email exchange between Akin senior adviser Rick Tyler and Kevin McDermott, a political reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in which McDermott sought a response from the Akin campaign for a story he was writing.
“I guess when you’re down double-digits and your campaign is the laughingstock of the election cycle, maybe they figure they have nothing left to lose. But it doesn’t say a lot about their integrity and seriousness as a Senate campaign,” one GOP strategist said in response to the post.
GOP Rep. Todd Akin said today that many of the issues being debated in the Missouri Senate race are “distractions” from the topics voters most care about.
“If the race is going to be decided on distractions, then that’s not good for us,” Akin said in an interview with KMOV in St. Louis. “But if people take a look and say what kind of country do we want to live in for the next four years, they’re going to take a look at the record.”
Akin, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, has been plagued by a series of controversial statements. In an indication of the difficulty that Akin is having keeping the focus on his message, the portion of today’s KMOV interview that aired on the local 6 p.m. news in St. Louis pertained exclusively to the controversies, including one that took place Monday.
“If Claire McCaskill were a dog, she’d be a ‘Bullshitsu’,” top Akin adviser Rick Tyler said on Twitter. For now, McCaskill’s re-election campaign is content to allow Akin and his political adviser’s comments to speak for themselves.
“She goes to Washington, D.C., it’s a little bit like one of those dogs, ‘fetch,’” Akin said at a campaign event Saturday in Springfield, according to PoliticMo, which obtained the audio clip. Full story
A new internal poll from Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill’s campaign showed her with an expanding lead over GOP Rep. Todd Akin.
The poll had McCaskill leading by 14 points, 52 percent to Akin’s 38 percent, a substantial increase over the last internal numbers released from the same pollster, which showed her with a 9-point lead.
The tracking survey, which pollster Kiley & Co. said was finished this evening, suggested McCaskill’s campaign is succeeding in driving up the unfavorable perception of Akin. Her campaign has launched an aggressive effort to attack the Republican on an assortment of policy issues, highlighted by last week’s ads that featured victims of sexual assault criticizing Akin’s position against emergency birth control.
Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) PAC is adding Missouri to the list of states where it has created an ad against Democratic Senators opposing his effort to curb U.S. aid to Egypt, Libya and Pakistan.
The ad against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) circulated on YouTube today. It could be a small boon for the beleaguered campaign of challenger Rep. Todd Akin (R). Paul has previously put up similar ads with money behind them targeting Senators in West Virginia, Ohio and Florida.
The Susan B. Anthony List, a group that advocates against abortion rights, announced this morning the launch of a television ad airing in Missouri that denounces President Barack Obama’s record on the issue.
The ad features a woman named Melissa Ohden, who tells a story of surviving an abortion.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwFIEprF_9Y&feature=youtu.be Full story
There were Senate endorsements galore in GOP circles today, with a few of the highest profile conservative Senators coming out in support of candidates locked in tough GOP primaries. Here’s a quick rundown of what happened:
Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz picked up an endorsement from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). Alluding to one of the most intense rivalries in college football (between the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma), Coburn wrote in a statement, “Oklahoma and Texas may have our friendly rivalry, but when it comes to fighting for limited government, I’m proud to endorse my neighbor across the Red River.”
Along with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Coburn also gave his nod to businessman John Brunner, one of three contenders for the GOP nomination in the Missouri Senate race. “John Brunner will be a force for fiscal conservatism in the U.S. Senate, and I am proud to endorse his candidacy,” Coburn said in a statement released by the Brunner campaign. Earlier this year, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) endorsed former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman, another GOP contender hoping to take on vulnerable Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in November.
Finally, Lee backed Maine Treasurer Bruce Poliquin in the Pine Tree State’s GOP Senate primary. A source in the Poliquin camp told Roll Call that a statement is forthcoming.
There won’t be yet another Republican vying to take on Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri this year.
State Auditor Tom Schweich, who holds the same position McCaskill had when she first ran for Senate in 2006, announced today that he is no longer considering entering the GOP primary fray. Schweich said the decision was personal and did not take any internal polling. Full story
A Missouri circuit court today ruled against a group of citizens hoping to overturn the Show-Me State’s Congressional redistricting maps on the grounds that they did not meet state constitutional muster.
That’s bad news for Rep. Russ Carnahan, whose current district was essentially eliminated in last year’s redraw. The new map puts him in the same district as fellow Democratic Rep. William Lacy Clay, setting up the potential of a Member-vs.-Member race.
Carnahan, a four-term Congressman, supported the plaintiffs’ case and had hoped for a court to draw him a new district where he could comfortably run.