1 Big Thing: MO GOP Optimism
Missouri Republicans are feeling better. There are a number of data points they’re pointing to…
· Two Republicans tell me their CD-2 polling now has Ann Wagner up double digits.
· Another Republican tells me that he saw a MO poll recently in which Republican intensity (aka enthusiasm) was higher than Democrat intensity.
· The MOScout poll last weekend which showed Hawley pulling away (albeit slightly from McCaskill) for the first time.
Now, let’s be clear: this late-breaking optimism isn’t visualizing Republicans picking up House seats or anything. But they think the losses will be minimal (three seats, perhaps), and they think they take the US Senate seat. After the Democratic special election romps in House 97 and Senate 17, the GOP had feared a massacre in November. Escaping with just a few House seats lost might inspire victory laps on Election Night.
“Republicans have come home.” The consensus is that the Kavanaugh confirmation process was the catalyst. Not that it’s driving this late MO GOP surge, but that it was the turning point. Republicans were able to vividly imagine what a world of Democratic control would look like. And when they fought back on the Kavanaugh accusations, it felt good. It got the juices flowing again. Instead of being on the defense for every ugly tweet from the president, they found something worth fighting for – a conservative Supreme Court justice. Fighting back didn’t win any converts, but it has mobilized their base.
One MOScouters reports this from the trenches… “Canvassed all day today in Ladue. Republicans better hope that they’re still strong in far West County because Ladue – formerly a rock-ribbed Republican bastion – felt more like Clayton… [A]bout half the women at the door said that they used to be Republicans until Trump…”
What It Means
The resurgent enthusiasm from Republicans can’t change the underlying realignment underway. Dems will pick up seats in the suburbs this cycle, and in the future, even if Republican intensity brings out enough voters to oust McCaskill. The exodus of college-educated, white women from the GOP is real.
Scott Marrs, one of the greats in the Jeff City lobbying corps, passed away. He represented many of the important Springfield interests. His clients included: The City of Springfield, Greene County Commission, Springfield Utilities, Missouri State University, and the Branson Chamber of Commerce. See the obituary here.
“Scott Marrs passed away late Friday night after a brief illness. He was the principal lobbyist and representative in the state capitol for various organizations throughout the southwest Missouri region and the Ozarks, including the City of Springfield, Missouri State University, Boys and Girls Club, Mercy, Bass Pro Shops, Branson, and many others. He leaves behind his beloved family, his loving wife Brigitte of 37 years, an educator, his daughter Katharine, a national political advisor, and his son William, a lawyer and political consultant. His mother Barbara Bullington, his brother David Marrs, his sister Julie Hendrickson; all from Springfield. As well as Stan Bullington of Poplar Bluff, and Michelle Marrs of Springfield. Scott was a hard worker and diligent citizen promoting causes related to the place and people he grew up with in the Ozarks. He was a graduate and true son of the University of Missouri: with a Master’s in Public Administration from the Truman School of Public Affairs, a political science graduate of Drury University, and an avid Mizzou Football fan. He was a friend to all, and loving father. Scott loved the outdoors, respected the natural beauty of the Missouri Ozarks, and taught his family to do the same. Scott was a believer in Christ and followed New Testament teachings, promoting kindness, grace, and service to others wherever he could. His quiet contributions to the city and region he loved made it a better place to live. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 P.M. Friday, November 2, at First Baptist Church in Springfield, MO.”
Trump, Biden and Pence Hit MO This Week
National pols will stomp around Missouri during this final week. Tomorrow Senator Lindsey Graham will be in Chesterfield (Roy Blunt, Mike Parson and Eric Schmitt will be in attendance). President Donald Trump will be in Columbia on November 1, and in Cape Girardeau on the 5th. Vice-President Mike Pence is rumored to be headed to Kansas City, perhaps on November 2. And former Vice-President Joe Biden will be in Bridgeton on this Wednesday, October 31.
Driving the Day: Kehoe Stumps SW MO for Prop D
Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe will zip through Southwest Missouri today pitching Prop D. It starts at noon…
“Lt. Gov. Kehoe will co-host in St. Robert the last of a series of regional meetings to tell citizens about Prop D, as he is joined by Patrick McKenna, Director of the Missouri Department of Transportation…. At 2 p.m., Lt. Gov. Kehoe will greet citizens of Laclede County in Lebanon with a stop at Dowd’s Catfish House… At 3:30 p.m., Lt. Gov. Kehoe visits with citizens of Webster County in Marshfield, stopping at the Webster Electric Co-Op Building… At 5:30 p.m., Lt. Gov. Kehoe has a joint Prop D news conference in Springfield with Dr. Hal Higdon, President of Ozarks Community Technical College, and Dr. John Jungmann, Superintendent of Springfield Public Schools. The news conference will be at Ozarks Community Technical College…”
What It Means
This is simply unprecedented. Maybe never has Missouri seen a governor and lieutenant governor throw all their political capital behind a tax increase. Either caution, or ambition, or both, have prevented such a full-throttled, unabashed effort to sell the idea to Missouri voters. Pols have worried that such actions would result in being tagged as “big taxers” in their next campaign. Parson and Kehoe are showing no such fear.
Didn’t See This One Coming
Joplin Globe endorses Claire McCaskill. Read it here.
The Case Against a Two-fer
If Hawley wins and Parson appoints Schmitt or Ashcroft to AG, you’d have four of the six (Gov, LG, SOS, AG, Auditor, Treasurer) state-wide offices held by people not elected to that position.
eMailbag on “Haahr’s Bar”
If Elijah Haahr gets major accolades for making the only sound, obvious, rational decision in his selection of the new House Clerk the bar is clearly low. Dana Rademan Miller has been grooming for the position for years. One would think the guy following Todd Richardson would have slightly higher expectations.
eMailbag on Pro Tem Race
If we’re being honest with ourselves, few can match Sen. Onder’s fundraising prowess. Between Onder affiliated committees and major donor donations that were the direct result of an Onder ask he has given over $300K to his caucus members. He is in the strongest position of all the candidates because he has put in the work and shown that he is an adept fundraiser able to help protect his caucus.
Eric Burlison (GOP, Senate 20) golf tournament at Fremont Hill Country Club, Nixa – 11AM.
CLEAN Missouri – $11,567 from Missouri Organizing and Voter Engagement Action.
CLEAN Missouri – $32,008 from Missouri Organizing and Voter Engagement Collaborative.
CLEAN Missouri – $45,328 from MOVE Ballot Fund.
CLEAN Missouri – $9,281 from Planned Parenthood Votes – St. Louis and Southwest Missouri.
CLEAN Missouri – $7,820 from Advocates of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri.
Raise Up Missouri – $11,567 from Missouri Organizing and Voter Engagement Action.
Raise Up Missouri – $32,008 from Missouri Organizing and Voter.
Raise Up Missouri – $45,328 from MOVE Ballot Fund.
Raise Up Missouri – $9,281 from Planned Parenthood Votes – St. Louis and Southwest Missouri.
Raise Up Missouri – $7,820 from Advocates of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri.
House Republican Campaign Committee Inc. - $30,000 from Friends of Todd Richardson.
Gibbs for Judge - $25,000 from Finley Gibbs.
Find the Cures - $36,400 from Bradley Bradshaw.
Find the Cures - $9,100 from Bradley Bradshaw.
Find the Cures - $5,005 from Sally Larson.
SaferMO.Com - $10,000 from Parson (Washington DC).
SaferMO.Com - $25,000 from Lockton Management LLC.
Freedom Incorporated - $20,000 from Heavy Constructors Association.
Happy birthdays to Rep. Mike Henderson, former Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty, Cara Hoover, Chip Casteel, and Ewell Lawson.