JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Top Republicans in Missouri are hitting the campaign trail in a final push to oust the incumbent-Democratic U.S. Senator, as polls show the race is still anyone’s game.
An array of GOP politicians — Gov. Mike Parson, former-U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, State Treasurer Eric Schmitt, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, and President Donald Trump — are stumping for Josh Hawley with less than a day until voters hit the polls.
The final day of campaigning will see Hawley in Springfield, Jefferson City, Blue Springs, St. Louis, and Cape Girardeau. Hawley is making use of a plane to hit all the stops.
“Who is ready to fire Claire McCaskill?” State Treasurer Eric Schmitt asked at a campaign rally in Jefferson City to cheers. “The good news is we are only one day away from that. We are about to send Josh Hawley to the United States Senate.”
Those speaking at the Jefferson City stop lambasted McCaskill’s recording on voting against Trump’s Supreme Court nominees, voting against repealing the Waters of the U.S. rule, and the immigration bill she has sponsored.
Hawley likened McCaskill to former-Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, saying the more McCaskill speaks the more she sounds like Clinton.
“Just yesterday, she said of the president, ‘That guy — that guy’, she said ‘that guy thinks the only way to make America strong is to turn back the clock.’ That just happens to have been the exact same words used by another lifetime career politician,” said Hawley. “I have to say the longer I listen to Sen. McCaskill, the more she reminds me of the person she wanted to be president, Hillary Clinton.”
He pointed out the McCaskill supported Clinton in her 2016 presidential bid while the state voted for Trump by nearly 20 percentage points.
Trump will actually be joining Hawley for the last stop of the day in Southeast Missouri. It will be the president’s second visit in less than a week, and fifth this year to campaign for Hawley.
Current polls show that the race is razor-thin between the candidates with some showing Hawley up, some showing McCaskill up, and some having the race tied — though most are within the margin of error and the majority show Hawley in the lead.
An NBC poll conducted October 30 – November 1 with 920 registered voters had McCaskill leading by three points in a head-to-head matchup, with 3 percent of voters still undecided.
An Emerson College poll puts Hawley up three points with 3 percent undecided. The survey, conducted November 1-3 with 732 registered voters, has a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percent.
A Trafalgar Group poll has Hawley four points ahead of McCaskill. RealClearPolitics has the average of the latest polls half a point in favor of Hawley.
“What happens on election day is actually up to who votes on election day,” said Blunt. “It is all about who votes. Not all about who would have voted if they voted. It’s about who votes and that needs to happen.”
As of November 1, 2018, Missouri had 4,213,092 registered voters. The Secretary of State’s Office is predicting a 54.73 percent turnout based on reporting from local election authorities. The 2014 midterm election saw a 35 percent voter turnout.
Polls open Tuesday at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. — voters in line at 7 p.m. will be able to cast a ballot.
“Remember, if you are registered to vote, you can vote!” Ashcroft said.
McCaskill is also making a final push in her campaign following a visit from former-Vice President Joe Biden last week. The Democratic candidate is making stops in St. Louis, Springfield, and Columbia on Monday.
Alisha Shurr was a reporter for The Missouri Times and The Missouri Times Magazine. She joined The Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University.