The Buzz

Republicans pounce as Hillary Clinton sends money to Missouri for Senate, governor races

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton boards her campaign plane Oct. 14, 2016.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton boards her campaign plane Oct. 14, 2016. AP Photo

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign said Monday it will send roughly $500,000 to Missouri to help in get-out-the-vote efforts in the state, primarily for down-ballot candidates for the Senate and the governor’s office.

Campaign manager Robby Mook made the disclosure during a conference call with reporters. He said the campaign would spend $1 million in Missouri and Indiana, dividing the funds between the two states.

“While Secretary Clinton faces an uphill battle in both states, Democrats are gaining steam in critical … races for Senate and governor in both of those states, as well as local and state legislative races,” Mook said. The money would be used to “turn Democrats out to vote,” Mook said.

“Through direct mail, radio and digital and digital advertising,” he said. “This is really meant to amplify the terrific grass roots campaigns that have already been organized by the gubernatorial, Senate and local races in both of those states.”

The money will come from the Hillary Victory Fund, a joint fundraising effort between the Clinton campaign and several state political parties.

Missouri Democratic Party chairman Roy Temple learned of the spending Monday afternoon. Asked for his reaction, Temple said “send more” during a conference call with reporters.

Democrats have long tried to co-ordinate presidential campaigns in Missouri with down-ballot races. That effort slipped in recent years as Missouri became less competitive presidentially.

Republicans used the announcement to try and associate down-ballot candidates with Clinton.

“While (Democratic governor candidate Chris) Koster has tried to hide his close connection to Clinton throughout his campaign, the fact the she is now pouring money into Missouri to help him tells voters all they need to know,” said a statement from Jeremy Adler, the communications director for Missouri Rising.

While $500,000 seems like a lot of money, in the context of campaigns that will end up costing more than $50 million combined by election day, it may have less impact than one might expect.

But the spending is a signal that the Clinton campaign is increasingly confident of victory in battleground states, making modest investments in Missouri and Indiana possible.

Dave Helling: 816-234-4656, @dhellingkc