Friday, February 16, 2018

Will Missouri Have The Worst Senate Race Of 2018? It Just Took Another Step In That Direction


On Thursday the Senate Majority Super-PAC, which is controlled by Schumer released 2 videos essentially the same, one for Indiana conservative Joe Donnelly and one for Missouri conservative Claire McCaskill (above). The message of the 2 ads is that the GOP tax scam that both voted against gives 83% of the benefits to the richest one percent of the population while adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt. And the Republicans plan to pay for it by cutting Medicare. Strong messaging-- but these two will need strong messaging in these two red states. Each state has a daunting a PVI of R+9. Trump beat Hillary 1,557,286 (56.8%) to 1,033,126 (37.9%). She only managed to win 4 of Indiana's 92 counties. Indiana was ready for change, not for Hillary's status quo message. In the primaries Bernie had beaten her 335,256 (52.5%) to 303,382 (47.5%)-- even though Wasserman Schultz had fixed the results so that Hillary walked away with a majority of the delegates. In Monroe County (Bloomington) Bernie didn't just beat Hillary 15,166 to 8,063, he beat Trump, Cruz and Kasich combined (14,447).

Missouri was very much the same story as indiana in November. Trump beat Hillary 1,594,511 (56.8%) to 1,071,068 (38.1%), Hillary winning just 4 of the state's 114 counties. Bernie and Hillary each got just over 49% in the primary, but, again, Wasserman Schulz had rigged the primary so that Bernie got just 34 delegates to Hillary's 47.

Last time McCaskill faced Missouri's voters was in 2012. She lucked out when the GOP ran bizarre sociopath Todd Akin, too much to swallow even for a red state like Missouri. After Akin's self-inflicted wounds about "legitimate rape" followed by him comparing McCaskill to a dog, she beat him 1,484,683 (54.8%) to 1,063,698 (39.1%) on the same day Romney was beating Obama 1,482,440 (53.8%) to 1,223,796 (44.4%). This year McCaskill isn't running against a verifiably insane Republican. The Republicans are running state Attorney General Josh Hawley. In the last half dozen polls, he's run ahead of her in 5 and she beat him-- by one point-- in the 6th. He's no Akin, although Republicans can't quite stay away from their party's war against women. In December he said that the sexual liberation of the 1960s had mitigated the social stigma for sex outside of marriage, which "has led to exploitation of women on a scale that we would never have imagined," leading to slavery of women. Trump loves him.

And yesterday, McCaskill's road to reelection may have gotten even steeper-- as an independent, Craig O'Dear jumped in. When he first formed his exploratory committee in January, Newsweek noted that it could be a game changer.
Geoffrey Skelley, associate editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, highlighted the unpredictable nature of an O'Dear candidacy.

“If O’Dear takes disproportionately from Hawley or McCaskill, that could potentially swing the race,” Skelley said. “In a race that is close, if there is some of that, it might be bad” for either candidate.

Skelley further stressed that Democrats need to hold on to the seat to have any chance of securing a Senate majority.

Even with a Republican Senate majority, Trump has had a difficult time pushing through much of his agenda during his first year, often blaming the filibuster rule and calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to repeal it.

If Democrats take control of the upper chamber, Trump will find it almost impossible to get his legislative agenda through Congress. His two biggest achievements, the passage of a tax bill and the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, only barely passed the Senate. A Democrat-controlled Senate would have no incentive to do the president any favors ahead of the 2020 election and would likely refuse to hand him any significant legislative victories.

Republicans currently control the upper chamber by the thinnest of margins, holding 51 seats to the Democrats' 49. For Democrats to wrest majority control from the Republicans, they would need to pick up two Republican-held seats while successfully retaining each seat they are defending. Such a scenario is essentially impossible without a McCaskill victory in Missouri, an outcome made even more uncertain with the addition of a wild card like O’Dear.

...Despite being a self-described longtime conservative Republican, O’Dear donated to Hillary Clinton during her 2016 run for president. This is already being used as ammunition by both leading candidates.

The McCaskill campaign is seeking to paint O’Dear as a staunch conservative driven out of the party by an unpopular president.

“It’s not surprising that another lifelong Republican is abandoning their party because of Donald Trump,” Meira Bernstein, communications director for the McCaskill campaign, said. “This is a fight over the soul of the Republican Party.”

But the Hawley campaign has other ideas, describing the race as a battle between McCaskill and O’Dear for Democratic votes.

“Sounds like another Hillary-loving liberal to me,” Kelli Ford, spokeswoman for the Hawley campaign, said. “We look forward to watching the trial lawyer and Senator McCaskill compete to be the liberal standard-bearer.”
Yesterday O'Dear pulled the trigger yesterday. To me he sounds like an utterly clueless idiot offering the very worst of the Republican Party mixed with the worst of the conservative Democrats and a big splash of ignorance. On top of that, he doesn't have any kind of political network and isn't known at all-- but still thinks he can win by capturing 35-40% in a 3-way race, a virtually impossible task. He says he was encouraged to run by Greg Orman, an independent running for governor of Kansas. O'Dear had contributed to both Democrats and Republicans, including $3,200 to Republican Gov. Eric Greitens, currently drowning in a scandal about paying hush money to a woman to shut her up about their extramarital affair.
O’Dear does not plan to caucus with either party if he is elected to the Senate. He said that the fact that the federal government has faced a shutdown twice in the span of two months demonstrates the dysfunction caused by the party system.

“The problem in the United States Senate is everything is controlled by two caucuses… We have got to find a way to introduce some non-caucus space in this country,” he said. 
O’Dear said that is a central part of his pitch to voters even if they identify as Republicans or Democrats.

“You want to help your party, help get me elected,” he said. “It will moderate both parties if you help create a center.”

McCaskill was one of only five Senate Democrats to vote against shutting down the federal government in January, but O’Dear contended that her move to the center was part of an election year strategy.

He also criticized President Donald Trump for proposing spending increases after pushing for tax cuts last year, two moves that will increase the country’s deficit.
Prediction: O'Dear won't take 10% of the vote and won't be a real factor in the race, drawing equally from each party. Unless the anti-Trump/anti-GOP is wave is massive, McCaskill will lose. Missouri is a Republican state and behaving like a Republican, the way McCaskill does, won't persuade more Republican voters to switch over to her than it will persuade Democratic voters to sit out her reelection bid. Like her support for the Crapo crap-bailout of big banks. Are Missouri voters dumb enough to buy into her anti-consumer deregulation bullshit?

Labels: , , ,


At 7:04 AM, Blogger Chris Roberts said...

i am missouri progressive.dem most of my life till fraud of 2016 now i am i have voted mcCaskill in all her previous statewide ones except in 2004 dem govenror primary i stuck with govenror bob holden who she beat.i won't vote for primary i am voting for progressive angelica earle now i except since media and dems have been able to bury that mccaskill will why would i vote for candiate and senator who votes with trump 50% of the time.i won't vote for republican which in my view mccaskill really is.i won't vote actual will i vote for a republican passing himself off as indy.

harry truman once said if you give voters choice between a republican and democrat who talks like republican voters will chooce real republican every time.

progressives are only way for dems to have comeback in my 2008 when obama was passing himself off as one he almost won state and dems did well statewide.

let's remember mcaskill supports funding wall.voted for most of trump appointees.supports deporting dreamers to fund government.and while she voted no on tax scam usually voted yes on corporate issues including supporting tpp and banks.she opposes single payer and attacked bernie in 2015 for wanting to expand social security.

At 7:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did DWT not just run a graphic showing that each of the corporatist parties draws 30% of the voters while the independents constitute 40%? If O'Dear was a good candidate (he's not), HE COULD WIN ON THE INDEPENDENT VOTE ALONE.

We are not far away from a time when good candidates WILL run as independents and win. Nothing scares the corporatist scammers more than to lose this way, because then it's over for them. No more gravy from getting paid to lose.


Post a Comment

<< Home