The Daily Kos‘ election roundup reports that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) is finally showing a little love to Missouri Democrats by means of a a $1.5 million TV ad buy to help Jason Kander defeat Roy Blunt:
It’s a little more surprising to see Democrats advertising in Missouri, a conservative state that Donald Trump is likely to carry in November. However, polls have consistently shown Republican Sen. Roy Blunt with a 3 to 7-point lead over Kander, and the DSCC has evidently decided that Blunt is worth spending money against. One Nation has also run ads here and the SLF reserved $2.5 million in fall TV time to support Blunt back in June; the NRA also recently started running ads against Kander. This is also the first time a major Democratic group has run commercials here.
While the DSCC’s move is welcome, […] Kander […] will need a lot more outside help ….
The move is surprising if only because Democrats seem to have written Missouri off. There is, for instance, one Missouri Clinton campaign office, located in St. Louis. Compare that to 24 campaign offices in Iowa. And, given that campaigns have to choose how to allocate dollars, maybe they’re right to slight us. If you look at battle ground states polling averages on RealClear Politics – a more conservative-leaning polling site – you’ll find that Trump is currently ahead in only four states, and in most cases, the lead is less than 2 points – in two states it is less than one point. Toss-ups in other words. But the battleground state where Trump has had and consistently holds a larger lead is Missouri where his average lead is greater than that of than Georgia or Arizona, two red states that are increasingly viewed as potentially shiftable. If Clinton has any coattails at all in Missouri, they’re god-awful short. And, although there has been fewer polls measuring the senate race in Missouri than elsewhere, the margin between Blunt and Kander is larger than in several other senate races with GOP incumbents – it’s not a “margin or error” type of situation.
It strikes me, however, that the crux of the ad buy is that, as the Dailykos writer notes, “the DSCC has evidently decided that Blunt is worth spending money against.” Even apart from any potential vulnerability, it might be worthwhile to take aim at Blunt. He’s a long-time political operative who stepped into Senate leadership in his first term, a natural role for the guy who was Tom Delay’s right hand man in the House. As the mention of Delay implies, Blunt is a “good earner” for the GOP and he almost always toes the party line, but in a way that minimizes controversy. It would be a “real get” to push him out of electoral Washington politics by means of a sincere, idealistic, young Democrat like Kander – although we should not expect Blunt to migrate any further than K-street, which might be his more natural nesting place to start with.
The Daily Kos writer is also right to note that Kander will need lots more help. Waves of Rove and Koch money will soon start rolling over us and the DSCC doesn’t seem likely to give Kander enough to keep him from being submerged.