The Buzz

Trailwatch, Sept. 16: Jason Kander, Roy Blunt at war — or so it seems

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. Jason Kander, Secretary of State-Mo.
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. Jason Kander, Secretary of State-Mo. The Kansas City Star

In 2015, we wrote a story about the role military service would play in elections in 2016. Apparently, the answer is: a lot! Gun ads were blazing in the U.S. Senate race this week.

And for the first time a public poll showed Jason Kander leading Roy Blunt, although within the margin of error.

The Missouri governor candidates seemed more interested in the ground game, sending accusations back and forth across the email wire. Which was a problem here, because our Gmail accounts went down for almost two days.

Bad week for Jay Nixon and Sly James, too.

To the trail....

Missouri Senate

It will be the most-talked about ad of the cycle in Missouri:

Pretty impressive. Will it move many votes? Not as clear. Jay Nixon and Democrats just lost a huge vote on gun regulations in the state, so it’s hard to see how this ad will motivate urban voters who may not hear the background-check message. It could work in some rural areas, though, and for the same reason: voters may be watching, but not listening.

Blunt’s team has an ad up that’s pretty misleading:

It seems clear from the context that Kander is saying his supporters will be called names — not that he’s asking for help from commies and pinkos. C’mon, man.

This ad is also up, on Blunt’s behalf:

And there’s this, from a dark money group called Vote Vets:

In other news... an Emerson College poll showed Kander leading Blunt, 42 percent to 40 percent. Dems ecstatic: they say it’s a R-leaning poll.

The Concerned Clergy of St. Louis endorsed Kander. So did the La Raza Club of KC.

Republicans accused Kander of hypocrisy for his criticism of lobbying activity by the Blunt family. The GOP claims Diana Kander was a lobbyist, not just an attorney.

The line between lawyering and lobbying can be thin. The GOP argument may take the sting out of an important Democratic talking point in the race.

Missouri governor

Eric Greitens weighed in when Sen. Jamilah Nasheed of St. Louis decided to sit during the Pledge of Allegiance: Surprise! Military service came up.

“I served with brave men and women who not only pledged allegiance to the flag, but gave their lives for it,” Greitens said.

“We live in the greatest country on earth because we have men and women willing to give their lives so Americans, even politicians, can exercise their constitutional rights no matter how much I disagree with them. Any politician who gets elected by the American people to serve them and gets paid by them to do their work should stand up and give our flag, our country, and our people the respect they deserve.”

Nice straddle. Greitens has an ad, too:

Republicans hammered Democrat Chris Koster for crime problems in urban areas.

“While St. Louis reigns as the nation’s murder capital since Chris Koster has taken office, Springfield and Kansas City have also taken a spot on the list of the most dangerous places in the United States,” the statement said.

Democrats said Greitens was spending too much time in Washington, raising money.

“It’s been less than a month since Eric Greitens last skipped town to hob knob with DC insiders and RGA mega donors — so he must have been getting antsy,” the statement said.

Koster has been raising money for years, and not just from Missouri sources. C’mon, man.

Kansas House 03

Kevin Yoder is up with his first ad. We’d embed it here, except we can only embed five ads in one story. Try the link.