The Buzz

Trailwatch, Aug. 26: Greitens, Koster gear up for nasty race ahead

Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri continued on his campaign bus tour this week. He stopped at the Frontier Justice weapons store in Lee’s Summit, where about 25 folks heard him express support for the First and Second Amendments.
Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri continued on his campaign bus tour this week. He stopped at the Frontier Justice weapons store in Lee’s Summit, where about 25 folks heard him express support for the First and Second Amendments. AP

Lots of traveling, lots of polling, lots of news releases in the last two weeks before Labor Day. It looks like all the statewide races in Missouri are within the margin of error of public polls, so the campaigns will matter.

Check out this overview from 538, Nate Silver’s website.

To the trail!

U.S. Senate, Missouri

Monmouth poll: Roy Blunt, +5

Be sure and read our story on dark money in this race.

Blunt, the Republican, continued on his campaign bus tour this week. He stopped at the Frontier Justice weapons store in Lee’s Summit, where about 25 folks heard him express support for the First and Second Amendments.

He scheduled stops in KC and other west-Missouri communities as well. The National Federation of Independent Business endorsed Blunt.

Blunt returns to work in Washington after Labor Day. He has to hope things go quickly and quietly — a government shutdown over spending, for example, might be a political problem for the the senator.

In Lee’s Summit he promised a resolution of the debate over federal funding to fight the Zika virus.

(In Kansas, Sen. Jerry Moran — on the 2016 ballot — called for action on Zika funding. Here’s a novel idea: a clean bill, without riders, at $1.1 billion. Tick … tick …tick …)

Democratic nominee Jason Kander toured Joplin, Springfield, and other cities — while his office certified the ballot from the primaries, agreed that Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein should be on the state’s ballot, and continued the war of words with Blunt over who is responsible for administering elections in the state.

Republicans say Kander should take responsibility for ballot shortages and other irregularities in St. Louis. As we’ve pointed out, election administration is largely a local responsibility.

“Senator Blunt knows full well that he is lying about Jason’s record in a desperate attempt to save his job,” Kander spokeswoman Anne Feldman said in a statement.

The Blunt spot:

Missouri governor

Monmouth poll: Chris Koster, +11 (Survey USA has it Koster, +2)

In an “interested parties” memo, Eric Greitens strategist Austin Chambers said the race was a statistical tie. And he laid out the outlines of what will quickly become a very nasty race:

“Koster is completely out-of-touch with real Missourians,” the memo said. “He’s become an apologist for career politicians and a cheerleader for the failures of the status quo.”

Greitens published an endorsement from former Sen. John Danforth. (By the way: Blunt, in his appearance here, also pushed the statewide GOP ticket. “A generational choice,” he said.)

Republicans accused Koster of mismanaging funds in Cass County, where Koster once served as prosecutor, and where officials built a new justice center some time ago.

“Missouri taxpayers were forced to bear the burden of Koster’s ‘costly missteps,’ when it came to this new government building,” said Jeremy Adler. He pointed to a 2016 sales tax election to cover some costs at the building.

Koster left the prosecutor’s office in 2004.

A former Missouri state senator and Democrat may back Greitens.

Both Greitens and Koster plan campaign stops in the Kansas City area over the next few days. The race is on.

Will endorsements matter?

Democrats took their shot at Greitens in this ad:

Missouri Attorney General race

The Republican Attorneys General Association gave GOP nominee Josh Hawley $1 million for his campaign.

Kansas U.S. House 03

Incumbent Rep. Kevin Yoder remains busy. His campaign issues a release criticizing continued suggestions that the Obama administration wants to close the Guantanamo facility and transfer the remaining prisoners to Kansas.

“Congress and the American people have spoken — closing the facility and bringing these terrorists to Kansas is a non-starter,” Yoder’s statement said.

It seems fairly clear the administration wants Guantanamo to be empty by the end of the year. But there’s no concrete evidence any of the detainees will end up in Kansas.

Democrat Jay Sidie raised money, claiming Yoder is too close to Wall Street and the payday loan industry.

Kansas Legislature

State Sen. Mary Pilcher Cook may be in some trouble.

Kansas Democrats want to link Republicans with Sam Brownback (Jay Sidie will try this in KS 03, too.)

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