With just more than a month until Election Day on Nov. 6, the attention of political strategists and campaign workers in Missouri is fixed on Jefferson County.
On the southern edge of the St. Louis metropolitan area, the county is a mix of suburban dwellers, farmers and blue-collar workers. And for the last two decades, the candidate who has won Jefferson County and its 150,000 voters has been a likely bet to carry the state.
“It’s pretty fair to say that so goes Jefferson County, so goes Missouri,’’ said Whitney Smith, Missouri communications director for the Republican National Committee.
“And however Missouri goes, that’s how the rest of the country is going to go. So I think Jefferson County is hugely important.”
That helps explain why, in a hotly contested U.S. Senate race between Sen. Claire McCaskill, the Democratic incumbent, and Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, her Republican challenger, both parties are investing considerable time, energy and money in Jefferson County.
Read more: St. Louis Public Radio