Political Rewind: Women Wield Wild Power at Polls, GOP Say Their Message is Fine and More
Our weekly roundup of Missouri political stories that hit the media this week.
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.
Sen. Claire McCaskill won with more than just Todd Akin's comments (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
On the cusp of a body-blow election loss eight years ago, Claire McCaskill knew exactly what had happened. The Rolla, Mo., native believed she had forgotten her rural roots, focusing her campaign too heavily on St. Louis and Kansas City. Missouri responded that year by electing Republican Matt Blunt as governor instead of her.
McCaskill’s landslide re-election to the U.S. Senate Tuesday came in part from a “rural strategy,” employed from within a roving campaign RV dubbed “Big Blue,” cruising through places such as Rolla, Ozark and Bolivar.
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Missouri mixes red with blue (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Missouri’s election results provided a mystifying paradox, as the state heavily favored Republican Mitt Romney but put Democrats in most statewide offices.
The state has grown more conservative, especially in presidential politics. But Democrats found paths to statewide victories, largely fueled by candidate selection and careful positioning on issues. In essence, Missouri has become a red state with gaps that are being successfully exploited by Democrats.
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Election will set stage for majority leader fight in Missouri House (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Even after the polls close, campaigning won't be over for state legislators seeking leadership posts.
The 197 members of the Missouri House and Senate chosen gathered in Jefferson City on Wednesday and Thursday for closed party caucuses to pick the leaders for the 2013-2014 General Assembly.
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As Missouri Republicans mull over the mixed election results, veteran GOP consultant John Hancock zeroes in on the obvious.
“Missouri looks a whole lot more Republican when it is chopped up, than it is when it’s a statewide election,” he said.
By that, he’s comparing the GOP’s legislative and congressional success with the party’s apparent statewide weakness.
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Women wield record influence at polls, make historic gains in U.S. Senate (St. Louis Beacon)
Instead of “binders full of women,” political candidates on Tuesday discovered voting booths full of women who had an impact on the outcome of many races around the country.
One of the major outcomes – not only of the female vote but also the growing number of women running for office – is that the newly elected U.S. Senate will have a record number of women when it convenes in January. Since January 2009, there have been 17 women serving in the Senate. That represented an all-time high, to be surpassed when the new senators take office in January.
Those 20 women senators, including re-elected U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., will include newcomers who appear likely to gain national attention. One of the best known is outspoken consumer advocate and Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren, who unseated incumbent Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass.
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House Republicans tap Diehl as new majority leader (St. Louis Beacon)
Fresh off obtaining a historic veto-proof majority, Missouri House Republicans selected state Rep. John Diehl as the next house majority leader.