Missouri Primary Winners and November Elections Rundown

Missouri capital building. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

The Aug. 7 Missouri primaries have drawn to a close and the showdowns are set for the general election in November. Here is a breakdown of the general election matchups following the primaries:

Governor of Missouri: Incumbent Jay Nixon (D) vs. Dave Spence (R) vs Jim Higgins (L)

Nixon was one of several Democrats who won Missouri state offices despite the Republican-heavy local results in 2008, along with Treasurer Clint Zweifel, Attorney General Chris Koster and Secretary of State Jason Kander. Nixon will now face businessman Dave Spence in the general election after Spence defeated lawyer and minister Bill Randles in the primary, among other candidates.

Missouri U.S. Senate seat: Incumbent Claire McKaskill (D) vs. Todd Akin (R) vs. Jonathan Dine (L)

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill has more money in the bank than any other candidate in Missouri, with $13 million in total contributions. She will face Rep. Todd Akin, who has represented Missouri’s 2nd U.S. Congressional District since 2000. McCaskill’s camp could not be more happy to have the matchup against Akin, as it believes he is the weakest candidate they could face in the general election.

Despite his opponents running constant attack ads, Akin ran a positive campaign to reach Missouri’s social conservatives and won the endorsement of Fox News host and former Ark. Gov. Mike Huckabee. He defeated businessman John Brunner, who spent more than $8 million of his own money campaigning, and Sarah Steelman, who used the high-profile endorsement of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to build her own popularity.

Missouri Lt. Governor: Incumbent Peter Kinder (R) vs. Susan Montee (D) vs. Matthew Copple (L) vs. Cynthia Davis (C)

Peter Kinder underwent public scrutiny over a stripper scandal a year ago but bounced back to fend off primary challenger Brad Lager, who had more money to throw at the primary than Kinder did.

Missouri Secretary of State: Incumbent Jason Kander (D)  vs. Shane Schoeller (R)  vs. Cisse Spragins (L) vs. Justin Harter (C)

Missouri Attorney General: Incumbent Chris Koster (D) vs. Ed Martin (R) vs. Dave Browning (L)

Missouri Treasurer: Incumbent Clint Zwiefel (D) vs. Cole McNary (R) vs. Sean O’Toole (L)

Missouri U.S. Representative races:

1st District: Incumbent William Lacy Clay Jr. (D) vs. Robyn Hamlin (R) and Robb E. Cunningham (L)

Rep. Lacy Clay and Rep. Russ Carnahan fought the highest profile and most contentious U.S. Representative primary race. Both ran in the 1st district after redistricting eliminated Carnahan’s district. The primary race had vicious accusations flying around on both sides, after Carnahan was upset by Clay’s participation in the redistricting. Carnahan called Clay “Payday Clay,” in regards to his purported support of the payday loan industry, a claim Clay vehemently denied. Clay would often refer to Carnahan as “my opponent,” refusing to even give Carnahan the respect of his name.

2nd District: Ann Wagner (R) vs. Bill Slantz (L) vs. Anatol Zorikova (C) vs. (Democratic primary winner)

This race is still too close to call for the Democrats. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Glenn Koenen, Harold Whitfield and George Weber are separated by less than 350 votes. Meanwhile, Wagner defeated a plethora of candidates in the Republican primary and is favored to take Akin’s vacant seat in a heavily Republican-favoring district.

3rd District: Incumbent Blaine Leutkemeyer (R) vs. Eric C. Mayor (D) vs. Steven Wilson (L)

4th District: Incumbent Vicki Hartzler (R) vs. Teresa Hensley (D) vs. Thomas Holbrook (L) vs. Greg Cowan (C)

5th District: Incumbent Emmanuel Cleaver (D) vs. Jacob Turk (R) vs. Randall Langkraehr (L)

On the west side of the state, Republican Jacob Turk won his fourth straight Republican nomination to take on Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver. Turk lost in landslides the first two times against Cleaver and lost by 9 percent in his third try. He is bouyed by redistricting; Misouri’s 5th Congressional District now includes not only urban Kansas City, but also parts of central Missouri.

6th District: Incumbent Sam Graves (R) vs. Kyle Yarber (D) vs. Russ Lee Monchil (L)

7th District: Incumbent Billy Long (R) vs. Lee Evans (D) vs. Kevin Craig (L)

8th District: Incumbent Jo Ann Emerson (R) vs. Jack Rushin (D) vs. Rick Vandeven (L)

What could it all mean come November? For starters, outcomes in Missouri tend to reflect those of the nation. Missouri has historically been a bellwether state, having picked the winner in all but two presidential elections since 1904. In 2008, the state bucked its historical trend, voting for Republican John McCain by the narrowest of margins—49.4 percent of votes to Democrat Barrack Obama’s 49.2 percent. Missouri has become more of a red state according to political analysts and is currently projected to vote for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in November.

Missouri’s growing Republican leanings could also have significant outcomes for offices within its borders. The state’s sole Democratic senator, Claire McCaskill, trailed Republican challengers in polls leading up to the primary. Also, the Republican-controlled state house and state senate also redistricted the state after census results ensured Missouri would lose a U.S. Congressional representative. The state legislature effectively cut out a Democratic district, leaving the state with eight U.S. Representatives and six Republican-leaning districts. Still, Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon remains popular throughout the state and raised more money in the second quarter than any other candidate.

In all, the three-month stretch run up to the general election will be one to watch in Missouri and could be impacted by company donations in the state the same way the primaries were.


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