Missouri’s Roy Blunt is on a glide path toward the 2016 GOP nomination for a second term in the U.S. Senate.
But why? Why is Blunt coasting as an entrenched incumbent when so many other Republican incumbents have gotten tied up in bloody primary fights with arch-conservative challengers?
This is a huge development in Show-Me politics, given the GOP’s recent history of tough intra-party fights that have cost the party’s nominees dearly in November.
The always insightful Deirdre Shesgreen writes about this Thursday morning in the Springfield News-Leader and draws these conclusions:
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1) Todd Akin is still on people’s minds. The 2012 GOP Senate nominee ran into a buzzsaw of controversy over his remarks on “legitimate rape,” and Republicans lost a race to Claire McCaskill that many felt they should’ve won. The GOP doesn’t want a repeat.
2) Republicans already have what’s shaping up as a contentious primary for governor in 2016. Many in the party suggest that two high-profile primaries is one too many.
3) Blunt continues to be a master at reaching out to even those who question his votes. He keeps the lines of communication open and his explanations for why he does what he does often prove satisfactory.
4) He continues to work the state hard. He’s the anti-Pat Roberts, the Kansas senator criticized for not being in Kansas enough in his 2014 campaign. Blunt puts in the miles.