With more than half of Missourians saying they wanted a new Senator, it’s little wonder that Claire McCaskill (D) was sent home in favor of Republican Josh Hawley.
According to HuffPost’s election tracker, Hawley is the winner with 93 percent of precincts reporting. Hawley has 52 percent of the counted votes as of 12:15 PM Eastern Time.
Missouri’s other U.S. Senator, Roy Blunt (R), thought the economy was going to be the main issue mobilizing voters on his side, despite the fact that white working class voters elsewhere in the Midwest are turning away from President Trump’s economic agenda.
“My own view is that we’re in the middle of a political realignment.” said Hawley. “It’s comparable to a century ago when you had a complete change in political coalitions, and I think President Trump is driving much of that. We’re seeing that happen. We’re right in the midst of it.”
Hawley credited Trump’s success in the state to the way he tapped into visceral fears that Missourians way of life was at risk.
“It’s at risk from falling wages. It’s at risk from an immigration system that does not work well for workers in this country. The president said a lot of things that folks have thought for a long time but nobody else had been willing to say.”
And while the Republicans in Missouri have run to the right, so has McCaskill. The Senator hedged on if she would support Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation, hedged on immigration policy, opposed Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All proposal, and ran an ad promising she wasn’t “one of those crazy Democrats“.
— MariaChappelleNadal (@MariaChappelleN) October 30, 2018
“The crazy Democrats are people who walk in restaurants and scream in elected officials’ faces,” McCaskill said on FOX News.
To an extent, this is just where the Missouri party is taking McCaskill — Missouri Democrats removed pro-choice language from their platform this summer, for instance — but her willingness to bash the left and run to the right has alienated progressives.
In a case where the center-right and far-right ran for Senate in Missouri, the winners were going to be Republicans regardless of which candidate took home the title.
Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor and senior legal reporter for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.