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pulled to the left

A story today from the Associated Press details the perilous position Claire McCaskill finds herself in as she attempts an impossible balancing act in her reelection campaign.

Running in a state President Trump won by nearly 20 points, McCaskill can’t win unless she fools a large number of conservative voters that she is a moderate. But as a longtime liberal with a voting record to prove it, McCaskill’s base is firmly on the far left of her party, and those liberal voters are pulling her further and further to the left as they demand “resistance” to President Trump and his agenda. And their efforts have worked, forcing McCaskill to take votes that are widely unpopular with the majority of Missourians, including her opposition to tax cuts, building a wall on the southern border and both of President Trump’s Supreme Court picks.

In case you missed it…

Trying to hold state Trump won, McCaskill feels pull to left
Associated Press
Sara Burnett
September 20, 2018

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The college students and neighbors gathered at a St. Louis coffee shop seemed like one of the friendlier crowds Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill might face campaigning in heavily Republican Missouri. But the audience on a recent night came armed with tough questions and unafraid to push back — or cast a side eye — at any answer they didn’t like.

Why did she support an immigration deal that increased funding for border security? (It was a compromise, McCaskill said, and “there’s nothing wrong with having rules.”) What did she think of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem? (“I don’t think it’s appropriate … but I respect anybody’s right to do it.”)

Should Democrats run on impeaching President Donald Trump?
“I don’t think so,” McCaskill replied, acknowledging it wasn’t what some wanted to hear. “I’m authentically a moderate. For those of you who are already irritated with me, now you’re going to be more irritated.”

The night summed up the double challenge facing McCaskill in a race that could decide whether Democrats take control of the Senate in November: The same liberal energy that’s led to insurgent Democratic victories around the country is spurring voters she should be able to count on to demand that she move to the left, even as she has to attract some Trump voters to win in a state he carried by almost 20 percentage points.

The president has campaigned for her opponent, state Attorney General Josh Hawley, telling an audience this summer, “We need Josh badly.” Trump is scheduled to return to Missouri for a rally Friday.

Hawley, a 38-year-old Yale and Stanford graduate elected to his first public office in 2016, says McCaskill supports a “radical left-wing agenda” that’s at odds with what Missouri voters want. He’s called on McCaskill to debate him across the state, holding campaign events alongside a trailer with two lecterns, bales of straw and a “Let’s Debate” banner.

“It is no small thing that people of this state voted for this president by 20 points,” Hawley said during a stop in Columbia. “Quite frankly I think she’s forgotten where she’s come from.”

Click HERE to read the full story.