FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2016
Contact: Chris Hayden
COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Cook Political Report today upgraded its rating of the Missouri Senate race as Jason Kander’s momentum is fueling a very competitive contest against Senator Blunt.
The Cook Political Report upgraded the race from “Likely Republican” and now lists it as “Leans Republican,” its most competitive rating outside of “toss-up.” Today’s article cites Jason’s fresh take on fixing the dysfunction in Washington and Missourians’ discontent with political insiders like Senator Blunt as reasons for the upgrade of the ranking.
The change follows a recent public poll showing that Jason Kander is closing the gap on Senator Blunt, with only a three-point difference in a head-to-head challenge.
From Cook Political Report: Arizona and Missouri: Move to Lean Republican
Banking on their youthful nominee and voter discontent with political insiders, Democrats believe that they can given Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt a very competitive race as he seeks a second term.
The 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred at the beginning of Kander’s senior year at American and prompted him to enlist in the U.S. Army, serving in ROTC while in law school. In 2006, he deployed to Afghanistan as a military intelligence officer. Kander served in the National Guard until 2011.
In a video announcing his campaign, Kander said he sees running for Senate as his calling. He has said that he has become frustrated with how broken Washington is and believes that unless current problems are fixed soon, they will be permanent. Kander contends that Blunt has been in Washington too long, citing his 14 years in the U.S. House before being elected to the Senate in 2010.
Kander’s campaign also draws attention to Blunt’s connections in Washington, a subtle reference to Blunt’s wife, who is the head of U.S. government relations for Kraft but who does not lobby the Senate. Blunt’s son and campaign manager, Andy, is a lobbyist in Missouri and says that he doesn’t lobby the Senate either. They will also work to tie Blunt to GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump at every opportunity.
Finally a Public Policy Polling survey (D)(IVR) (July 11-12 of 959 registered voters) had Blunt leading Kander by three points, 41 percent to 38 percent.