Missouri is being ignored by the presidential candidates. Neither Mitt Romney or President Barack Obama has bothered to make an appearance in Missouri.
The reason is that President Obama has conceded Missouri to Romney. And, the challenger believes he has the state locked up so why spend time here when it would be more profitable for him to go to one of the real battleground states in the quest for voters.
AP Jefferson City correspondent David Lieb has an excellent commentary on this subject. It is included in this issue’s editorial pages.
Even though Missouri is expected to be conservative Republican at the polls in November in the presidential race, a couple of the Democratic state candidates are expected to win along with Sen. Claire McCaskill, who is in a closer than expected race with Republican Todd Akin. Democrat Jay Nixon is expected to be re-elected governor in his race with Dave Spence, State Treasurer Clint Zweifel generally has the nod over Cole McNary and Attorney General Chris Koster probably is going to be back in that office for another four years.
We no longer are District 9 in the U.S. House. We’re now District 3 and incumbent Blaine Luetkemeyer, a Republican, is a heavy favorite over the Democratic candidate, Eric C. Mayer, who is a complete unknown.
When it comes to tagging Missouri a Republican or a Democratic state, it’s no easy task. Politics in Missouri is like the weather — it changes often. Franklin County voters are much like the rest of the people in the state when it comes to presidential elections. It appears to be a good bet that Franklin County will go for Romney. Obama lost in Missouri by a slim margin in 2008, by 3,903 votes. He will lose Missouri by much more than that this year. Romney is better liked than John McCain was four years ago.
In Franklin County in 2008, Obama lost to McCain — 55.3 percent voting for McCain and 42.9 percent for Obama. The spread in the county could be greater this year.
Of note is that since 1936, Franklin County voters have been with the eventual presidential winner 70.5 percent of the time!
Obama’s record is such that in the past four years, he hasn’t won over a greater percentage of Missouri voters. In fact, we won’t guess a number, or percentage, but the president has lost supporters. How do we know? It’s a gut feeling from talking to Missourians. The president hasn’t shown Missourians much in governing, especially in getting the economy moving. Missourians know more about Obama than they did four years ago.
In our lifetime, we have witnessed presidential candidates who made a lot of promises. Obama was one of those candidates long on promises and anybody who had been around for a time knew he couldn’t fulfill all of what he said he would do. Voters now know the emptiness of many of those promises.
All presidential candidates make promises. The one thing to remember, and which they never tell you, is that they need Congress’ backing to do what they say they are going to accomplish. Yes, they do say sometimes they will unite with Congress to bring all of us health and prosperity.
Working with Congress always is a challenge even when the same party controls the White House and Congress. Control in numbers does not always mean unity.