Thursday, July 10, 2008

Targeted States: Missouri

John McCain is leading in most polls out of Missouri, but just yesterday the Obama campaign tripled their staff presence in the Show Me State.

Obama for America announced it has 150 paid staffers in the state to direct the Illinois senator's army of volunteers. The total exceeds the combined peak numbers of both John Kerry who had as many as 80 Missouri staffers and George W. Bush who had up to 50 in the last presidential election.

"We have started really ramping up on the staffing, we're going to start to open offices across the state and we're really excited to talk with the people here," Debbie Mesloh with Obama For America said.

Missouri: McCain vs. Obama (RealClearPolitics)

Polling Data

PollDateSampleMcCain (R)Obama (D)Spread
RCP Average06/20 - 07/07--49.044.0McCain +5.0
Rasmussen07/07 - 07/07500 LV5045McCain +5.0
PPP (D)07/02 - 07/05723 LV4744McCain +3.0
SurveyUSA06/20 - 06/22543 LV5043McCain +7.0
Rasmussen06/03 - 06/03500 LV4243Obama +1.0
SurveyUSA05/16 - 05/181523 LV4845McCain +3.0
Rasmussen05/06 - 05/06500 LV4741McCain +6.0
SurveyUSA04/11 - 04/13542 RV5042McCain +8.0
Rasmussen03/24 - 03/24500 LV5338McCain +15.0
SurveyUSA03/14 - 03/16536 RV5339McCain +14.0
SurveyUSA02/26 - 02/28632 RV4842McCain +6.0
Rasmussen02/11 - 02/11500 LV4240McCain +2.0
SurveyUSA01/11 - 01/13562 RV5140McCain +11.0
SurveyUSA12/13 - 12/15547 RV4447Obama +3.0

George W. Bush beat both Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004 in Missouri. Indeed, a Democrat hasn't won Missouri since 1964.

Missouri has a Republican governor, Matt Blunt. In both 2000 and 2004, the governor was a Democrat. There is a Republican senator and a Democratic one, the latter being early Obama supporter Claire McCaskill.

McCaskill has been a very active campaigner for Obama and often appears on national news coverage representing the campaign.

The Missouri state legislature, both the assembly and the senate, are dominated by Republicans.

Despite the strong Republican presence in the state, there was one very good sign for Obama that occurred during the primary. A total of 824,453 voters cast ballots in the Democratic primary, compared to 584,618 for the Republicans.

In comparison, in 2000, 44% more Republicans voted in the primary than Democrats. Also, in the most recent statewide election, McCaskill was able to unseat an incumbent Republican possibly indicating weakening support for the party.

Efforts by the Obama campaign and the DNC to register and activate Democrats in the state are reported to be bearing fruit. So much so, that incumbent Republican Gov. Blunt has decided not to run for reelection.

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