Missouri was once the classic swing state. The state swung from Woodrow Wilson in 1912 and 1916 to the three Roaring Twenties Republicans, back to the Democrats for all 4 FDR elections and, of course, for favorite son Harry Truman in 1948. Then they slipped (50.7% to 49.1%) into the red column for Eisenhower's first race, followed by an equally narrow vote for Adlai Stevenson against Ike 4 years later. Missourans picked JFK and LBJ, then Nixon twice, Jimmy Carter the first time, then Reagan both times, George HW Bush, Bill Clinton both times and... all red after that-- and not close. Trump beat Hillary 1,594,511 (56.4%) to 1,071,068 (37.9%) in 2016 and then beat Biden 1,718,736 (57.0%) to 1,253,014 (41.6%) last year. The Democratic Party has deteriorated into a Republican-lite party that keeps failing with anti-inspirational status quo candidates. Cori Bush's 2 campaigns-- the second being a resounding success-- showed Missouri the path to winning races again.
With Roy Blunt's retirement next year, could Missouri be ready for another swing back in a blue direction? A few days ago I asked the leading grassroots candidate, Lucas Kunce, about the likelihood of a Trump endorsement for one of his opponents and he told me her has no problem with that because it would give him another "opportunity to contrast progressive populism-- our mission to fundamentally change who holds power in this country, from massive corporations to working people-- with their false brand of populism funded by billionaires seeking to divide us while they continue stripping our communites for parts. That difference is the foundation of our campaign. An inclusive agenda for fundamental change that makes it so hardworking people don't have to live paycheck to paycheck or one disaster from bankruptcy like my family did growing up."
This morning, Chuck Todd's team noted that one of those fake populists, scandal-ridden ex-Governor Eric Greitens could be Kunce's opponent. Greitens is a violent, lying, misogynistic sadist who was forced to resign the governorship just ahead of impeachment by a Republican legislature. NBC reported that "On Fox News announcing his Senate bid, Greitens said he was exonerated after dropped charges and after a state ethics committee concluded that his campaign-- but not Greitens himself-- committed campaign-finance violations. Greitens told Fox he resigned from office for his family, because 'it was what I needed to do for the people who I love the most.'... If he’s the nominee, Republicans will have decide whether to embrace someone with this kind of record."
Although Greitens was let off the hook in return for his resignation, no one in Missouri thinks he was in any way innocent of the myriad charges leveled against him in a drip-drip-drip that everyone was certain had ended his bizarre political career. Todd: "We remember when Roy Moore lost a Senate seat in Alabama (a state Trump won by 25 points in 2020), and when Kris Kobach lost the gubernatorial race in Kansas (a state Trump won by 15 points). Candidates matter. Donald Trump, as the saying goes, could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and get away with it. But what about Eric Greitens?"