Labor Day weekend marked the end of a summer filled with scrambled stops across Missouri for U.S. Senate candidates Roy Blunt and Jason Kander.
For the next nine weeks, the two candidates will engage in a wholesale dash to the Election Day finish line — TV ads, phone calls, postcards, social media, news conferences, at least one debate. Millions of dollars and thousands of hours will be spent to sway voters in a Senate race now considered close enough, and significant enough, to draw national attention.
Public polls, and private judgments, suggest Blunt remains the slight favorite. Republicans, Democrats and outside analysts said that the senator has avoided serious missteps in his bid for a second six-year term, and that Missouri remains a conservative state inclined to support the GOP incumbent.
But Democrat Kander, 35, could still pull off the upset, analysts said. He’s run a smart race, has money and remains a generational contrast with Blunt, who’s 66 years old.
And on the issues that matter to Missourians, while the two men have traditional differences, they also have a few notable agreements, including supporting the passage of a constitutional amendment to balance the budget and opposition to the Iran nuclear agreement.