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Swing State Missouri: Easy Win for Romney?

by Lauren Moore, published
Gov. Romney stumps in Missouri Credit: Reuters


The swing state Missouri has been coveted for more than a century, but this election seems to be ignoring the home of the big arch, Enterprise Rent-a-Car and the blues. But its tenure as a swing state may be coming to a close.

“Missouri has been a bellwether state for more than 100 years, with presidential candidates lavishing attention on Show-Me State voters and spending millions on field operations, glossy campaign mailers, and TV ads. But this election? Not so much,” writes Deirdre Shesgreen of Gannett’s Washington bureau.

Nick Pistor, of St. Louis Today, attributes this change to President Obama focusing on the other nine swing states, and Gov. Romney following suit.

“The status change was cemented earlier this month when President Barack Obama didn't include Missouri in his television ad buy targeting swing-state voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia,” wrote Pistor in an article earlier this week.

Perhaps they should be focusing more on the forgotten state, since it is strongly predicted the GOP will take Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, Indiana and Pennsylvania, where Republicans currently hold all the political offices: the governorship, both houses of the state legislature, the secretary of state position, and the state attorney general position.

Pistor seems to think this all started when Sen. McCain won the 2008 election despite the favorable national outcome for President Obama. In retaliation, embarrassment or spite, the Democrats chose North Carolina for the scene of their national convention, instead of Missouri.

Missouri is one of the few swing states without a majority Republican control, but still both houses of the state Senate are in the hands of the GOP, which could be another reason for the diminishing interest in Missouri voters. As of July 24th, “Mitt Romney leads Obama in Missouri by an average of just 3 points,” according to a New York Times poll.

CNN analyst and Democratic strategist James Carville has said, "Missouri in my definition is not a swing state."

Instead, Carville insists, “Missouri is in the Republican column and is a must-win for Romney, much as Wisconsin is a must-win for Obama. Missouri, in other words, isn't a swing state because by itself it can't swing the election.”

Lloyd Smith of the state Republican Party argues that Missouri still deserves the attention it had become accustomed to ,

"We're moving more into the Republican category but that doesn't mean you can take it for granted," he said.

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