Political Rewind: Akin Confident, Spence Urges Party-Line Vote, Nixon Touts Disaster Relief
In this week's roundup of Missouri political stories, Todd Akin says he's confident he can win the U.S. Senate race, Dave Spence wants voters to vote all-Republican and Gov. Jay Nixon jockeys for reelection.
Editor's Note: The following articles were aggregated from several news organizations in Missouri. You can read more about each story by clicking on the headline.
Claire McCaskill seeks the common touch on the campaign trail (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
How does an incumbent U.S. senator who is suspected of being an elitist liberal prove to today's skeptical Missouri voters that she really is one of them?
“Hi guys, I'm Claire. Something to drink?” Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill asked two diners one recent afternoon at a popular lunch spot in Columbia, pulling her notepad out of her apron and tipping her pen. “You want to hear about the specials today?”
Waiting tables over a lunch hour probably isn't the whole answer to McCaskill's quest to connect with regular voters as she runs for a second term. But as she told reporters after the campaign event at Flat Branch Pub & Brewing, “sometimes a visual impact helps.”
(The) event also was designed to remind voters that McCaskill hasn't always been a wealthy and powerful politician who hob-nobs (too much, some say) with the president of the United States. That she was born in Rolla and waited tables at restaurants here during college to augment her loans.
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Todd Akin sticks to conservative message — and conservative crowds (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Todd Akin has repeatedly apologized to Missouri and the nation for suggesting that victims of “legitimate rape” can’t get pregnant.
But he wasn’t making any apologies recently to the students at Hannibal-LaGrange University, a private Christian college nestled in Mark Twain’s home town.
When asked to address the controversy to an auditorium full of students, the Republican congressman abandoned the penance-seeking stance he’d offered in the secular world. Surrounded by enthusiastically Christian young people, Akin defined the conflict much differently.
“That was just a reaction to somebody who is pro-life,” he told them.
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Dave Spence cites business credentials in governor's race (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Over the din of machinery, Dave Spence is leading a media tour of the factory that was once the hub of his plastics empire.
Though he hasn’t worked here in a year, he still sounds like the boss. He greets the workers at Alpha Packaging warmly and by name. He reels off facts, such as the precise number of seconds it takes for a machine to spit out a perfectly formed bottle.
The tour is intended to underscore the business acumen that Spence, the Republican nominee for governor, would bring to state government if voters choose him over the Democratic incumbent, Jay Nixon, in the Nov. 6 election.
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Nixon's role in Missouri disaster relief may help re-election campaign (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Gov. Jay Nixon set aside $29 million to help farmers in drought-stricken counties dig wells and lay pipelines.
The program is just one example of Nixon’s focus on rural Missouri the last four years. From taking command in tornado-ravaged Joplin to inspecting levees in flooded northern counties, Nixon has dealt with a lengthy string of severe weather-related crises, most of them in outstate Missouri.
Critics have complained that Nixon bypassed the Legislature in allotting money for disaster relief, a move that triggered a lawsuit from the state auditor. The governor's frequent taxpayer-paid trips around the state also have drawn fire, with some alleging that Nixon preens for the cameras.
But overall, the administration’s record in responding to the Joplin tragedy and other emergencies has drawn bipartisan praise.
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If it appears that political candidates have been working extra hard in recent weeks to convince undecided women to vote for them, it’s because they are, says Susan Carroll, senior scholar at the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University, which is nationally known for its research about the political involvement of American women.
She says that, with the presidential race tightening, the candidates continue to target undecided voters.
"There aren’t many undecideds, but the ones who are out there – particularly in the swing states -- a good chunk of them are women,” said Carroll.
The campaign rhetoric of 2012 has loudly replayed remarks about reproductive rights and equal pay -- and the comments about "legitimate rape” made by U.S. Rep. Todd Akin of Wildwood and the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.
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In less than a week, Missouri’s Republican nominee for governor, Dave Spence, has injected a second $500,000 of his own money into his campaign.
Spence’s latest $500,000 was reported Wednesday, and came just six days after his identical earlier donation.
Dave Spence and Jay Nixon
Spence’s last-minute infusion of at least $1 million in a week helps him trim the financial edge of Gov. Jay Nixon heading into the final days. And Spence hasn't said if more may follow.
Overall, Spence has now donated or lent his campaign at least $5 million from his own pocket – all of it this year.
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Schoeller on tour promoting photo ID requirement; Democrats, labor push back (St. Louis Beacon)
Republican secretary of state hopeful Shane Schoeller embarked Wednesday on a statewide tour trumpeting his support of government-issued photo identification at the polls.
Schoeller, a Republican from Willard, traveled the state Wednesday on what his campaign terms the ‘Show Me ID Tour,’ which highlights his advocacy for the government-issued photo ID requirement. The tour included a stop at the so-called "Victory Fieldhouse," a facility near Fenton that's become a drawing point for Republican volunteers in St. Louis County.
Republicans, including Schoeller, have couched the photo ID requirement as a way of preventing electoral fraud. Schoeller told the Beacon earlier this month that current identification requirements, which can include a utility bill or bank statement, are not strong enough.
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Gingrich to campaign with Akin in Kansas City (Jefferson City News-Tribune)
Former House speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich will campaign in Missouri next week for Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin.
Akin's campaign says Gingrich is to attend fundraisers Tuesday in the Kansas City area and appear with Akin on Wednesday at a rally at the city's Union Station. Gingrich also appeared with Akin last month at a fundraiser in suburban St. Louis.
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Secretary of state hopeful gets campaign help (Jefferson City News-Tribune)
Republican Missouri secretary of state candidate Shane Schoeller got a boost Wednesday from a fellow Republican from Mississippi, who said photo identification requirements for voters are important to preserving the integrity of elections.
Schoeller has made implementing a Missouri photo ID requirement a central theme of his campaign. On Wednesday, Delbert Hosemann, Mississippi’s secretary of state, echoed Shoeller’s push.
Mississippi voters in 2011 approved a state constitutional amendment dealing with a voter photo ID requirement, and legislators passed a measure earlier this year to put the requirement into law. However, the state is among those that need federal approval before making election changes, and the photo ID requirement will not be in place this year.
Currently Missouri voters can show a driver’s license or other government-issued photo ID, but state law also allows them to provide documents that do not contain photographs, such as copies of utility bills or bank statements listing their names and addresses.
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Missouri secretary of state candidates clash (Jefferson City News-Tribune)
Missouri Republican secretary of state candidate Shane Schoeller (SHOH’-lur) is calling for a state photo ID law while campaigning across the state.
Schoeller says requiring that voters show a government-issued photo ID at their polling stations would help guard against election fraud. He has made the issue a central theme of his campaign. On Wednesday, Schoeller was campaigning in Kansas City, Jefferson City, St. Louis and Springfield. He was joined in Jefferson City by Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.
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Despite polling, Akin still confident in chances (politicmo.com)
A careful Todd Akin has emerged on the campaign trail, following yet another national media storm about comments made by the Republican U.S. Senate challenger.
Akin, speaking generally, noted that it has been an “an odd election in some ways,” most notably the lack of support he has received from the moderate wing of his Republican Party. Akin added that he believes the more conservative wing of the party will emerge strongly for him on election day, as he fights to win a race against incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill, which was once considered a slam-dunk for Republicans hopeful to gain control of the Senate.
Akin trails by six points in the most recent public polling, but said he is not worried.
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Spence urges supporters to back entire ticket (politicmo.com)
Republican gubernatorial nominee Dave Spence told supporters Monday to support the entire Republican ticket when they head to the polls in just two weeks.
At a rally in Jefferson City that was mostly focused on the governor’s race, Spence led the crowd in chants to “send home” other candidates on the ballot in November, including Gov. Jay Nixon, Sen. Claire McCaskill, and President Obama, who Spence joked should “go back to wherever you’re from.”
As he has before on the campaign trail, Spence accused Nixon, his Democratic opponent, opponent lying when it comes to the state of the Missouri economy.