Missouri Braces For Hawley-McCaskill Clash After Primary Wins

Molly Prince | Politics Reporter

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley won the state’s Republican senate primary Tuesday evening, kicking off a race against Democratic primary winner and incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Hawley edged out a victory over a field of 11 Republicans, taking 59 percent of the vote. McCaskill defeated six other Democrats to win 83 percent of her party’s vote.

McCaskill has $6.6 million cash on hand after raising $22.4 million, while Hawley has $2.3 million after raising $5.3 million, according to OpenSecrets.

McCaskill is considered to be one of the senate’s most vulnerable Democrats, trying to stay in the favor of a constituency that heavily favored President Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election cycle. Trump won Missouri by roughly 19 percentage points against Hillary Clinton.

The two-term Democratic incumbent also holds a negative approval rating in Missouri, a fact which Hawley seized upon in campaign ads that he ran in May. (RELATED: McCaskill Support For The 2nd Amendment Is Fake News)

Hawley could be McCaskill’s toughest competitor to date. Recent polling shows a head-to-head race within the margin of error, however, the Real Clear Politics average has McCaskill with one point over Hawley.

McCaskill has been portrayed as an out-of-touch, anti-Trump Democrat whose competitiveness in the general election race could depend on her ability to move more towards the political center.

Democrats are hoping to gain control of the Senate and retaining McCaskill’s seat is critical if they are to have any chance to do so.

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