2018 Missouri U.S. Senate race | St. Louis Public Radio

2018 Missouri U.S. Senate race

Green Party candidate Jo Crain, Republican candidate Attorney General Josh Hawley, independent candidate Craig O'Dear and Sen. Claire McCaskill participate in a candidate forum in Maryland Heights on Sept. 14, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen Claire McCaskill and state Attorney General Josh Hawley went toe-to-toe on health care, the Supreme Court, immigration and tariffs in their first forum of the campaign Friday.

Hawley, a Republican, said the public will choose between a “heartland way of life’’ and a “radical left-wing agenda.”

McCaskill, a Democrat, said the public should focus on “the ones who actually have a track record of working in a bipartisan way and actually getting things done.”

Onlookers watch as Air Force One lands at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in March 2018.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

There’s one person who will affect Missouri’s U.S. Senate race more than a pointed attack ad or dumptrucks full of money: President Donald Trump.

Both U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and Attorney General Josh Hawley believe he’ll make an impact in their nationally-watched contest.

The question, though, is who will benefit?

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley speaks to GOP volunteers on Aug. 31, 2018, in Imperial, Mo.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

GOP Senate candidate Josh Hawley is pushing for a major overhaul of the earned income tax credit, one of the federal government’s most popular programs aimed at helping the working poor.

In an interview with St. Louis Public Radio, Hawley said he wants to instead deliver a wage boost directly in the paychecks of low and moderate income workers.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and Attorney General Josh Hawley spoke in the St. Louis area on Aug. 30, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Both of the major candidates for Missouri’s U.S. Senate seat were in the St. Louis area on Thursday, seeking to emphasize issues that will help their cause in November.

For McCaskill, Thursday’s topic was her support for a minimum-wage hike and opposition to right to work. Hawley zeroed in, once again, on Brett Kavanaugh’s pending nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley and Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill
Durrie Bouscaren & Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri’s U.S. Senate contest is attracting more outside money – at least $25 million so far –  than any other Senate race in the country.

More than half of the money is being spent by a conglomerate of Republican-leaning groups seeking to help the state’s GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley.

The rest is mainly coming from a political-action committee tied to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat aiding the incumbent, Sen. Claire McCaskill.

President Donald Trump arrives at St. Louis Lambert International Airport to attend a fundraiser for GOP U.S. Senate hopeful Josh Hawley.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

This week’s Politically Speaking zeroes in on how President Donald Trump will affect Missouri’s election cycle — particularly U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s re-election bid against Attorney General Josh Hawley.

On the surface, Trump should benefit Hawley — especially because the GOP chief executive won Missouri by nearly 19 percentage points in 2016. Missouri’s public opinion polls show his approval ratings hovering around 50 percent. But Trump has faced a torrent of controversy this week with the Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen court proceedings.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill speaks at a campaign event on Friday, August 17, 2018, in Ferguson.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Friday’s edition of Politically Speaking explores three different storylines to watch as candidates and campaigns ramp up for the November election.

The first one that St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies tackle is U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s upcoming meeting with Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s latest pick for the U.S. Supreme Court. Both sides of the political spectrum are pressuring McCaskill on how to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, which comes as she runs against GOP Attorney General Josh Hawley.

Hawley stands in front of his traveling debate trailer, parked Wednesday in St. Charles.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

With their nominations in the bag, it’s now “game on’’ for Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and her Republican rival, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley.

Even as Tuesday’s vote-counting was wrapping up, McCaskill and Hawley each issued calls for debates leading up to the Nov. 6 election.

Both also sought to frame their contest as one pitting a person of the people against a rival who’s out of touch.

Wesley Bell, candidate for St. Louis County prosecutor, votes at First Presbyterian Church in Ferguson on Tuesday morning. Aug. 7, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

If Missourians proved anything on Tuesday, it’s that they aren’t predictable when it comes to how they vote.

Less than two years removed from endorsing President Donald Trump and a slate of GOP statewide aspirants, voters overwhelmingly repealed the party’s signature policy, right to work, from the law books. But instead of backing candidates that won the blessing of organized labor groups, St. Louis and St. Louis County voters decided to go in very different directions.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley addresses the crowd in Springfield, Missouri, after winning the GOP primary for U.S. Senate on August 7, 2018. He will take on Claire McCaskill in November.
Jennifer Moore | KSMU

GOP Attorney General Josh Hawley and U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill easily won their respective Missouri primaries on Tuesday, setting up a Senate showdown in November that will gain national attention.

And voters in St. Louis-area congressional districts decided to keep U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay in office — and selected Cort VanOstran to square off against GOP Congresswoman Ann Wagner.

Hawley ended up defeating 10 other candidates in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. He’ll face McCaskill, a two-term senator who easily won her primary against six opponents.

Union members gathered at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Hall on Aug. 8, 2017, to notarize and turn in petitions to force a statewide vote over Missouri’s right-to-work law.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the surface, the purpose of Tuesday’s primary is only to select candidates who will run in the November general election. But in reality, the results could resonate for years to come.

That’s because Missouri voters will decide whether to retain the right-to-work law, which bars unions and employers from requiring workers to pay dues as a condition of employment. And in the St. Louis region, prevailing in the Democratic primary is often tantamount to election — especially in state legislative and local contests.

Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley and Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill
Durrie Bouscaren & Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A total of 18 Republicans and Democrats are running for Missouri’s U.S. Senate seat.

But most of the attention is on two contenders: incumbent Claire McCaskill and Attorney General Josh Hawley.

Those two candidates and their allies have been sparring for months, providing a prelude to what could be one of the most expensive and contentious national elections of the 2018 election cycle.

Attorney General Josh Hawley
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley joins Politically Speaking to talk about the nationally watched contest for the state’s United States Senate seat.

Hawley is the most well-known and well-funded Republican seeking to take on U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill in the fall. He’s facing off against 10 GOP candidates in next month’s Aug. 7 primary, including two, Austin Petersen and Tony Monetti, that have been guests on Politically Speaking.

Attorney General Josh Hawley shakes hands on Thursday with Vice President Mike Pence. Pence made a speech in downtown St. Louis to bolster President Donald Trump's policies.
Bill Greenblatt I UPI

This week’s election edition of Politically Speaking examines how national and state-based political figures are assisting Attorney General Josh Hawley and U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s campaigns.

Hawley received a fundraising boost this week from Vice President Mike Pence, who swung through the St. Louis area on Thursday to promote President Donald Trump’s policies. Meanwhile across the state, House Democrats are trying to a link a 2017 controversy involving Senate President Ron Richard with Hawley.

Greg Magarian is a law professor at Washington University and previously clerked for Justice John Paul Stevens.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

President Trump on Monday evening chose Brett Kavanaugh to fill the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy left by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh will now go before the U.S. Senate for confirmation.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with Greg Magarian, J.D., professor of law at Washington University, about the nomination and its local implications. Magarian previously clerked for Justice John Paul Stevens.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill answers questions during a town hall at Harris-Stowe State University. Jan. 27, 2018
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies debut a new edition of the show — a weekly roundup of the big issues shaping Missouri’s election cycle.

Sen. Paul Wieland, R-Imperial, opined on the idea of iron-clad pledges during an interview on his "right to work" vote. While he says he refrains from absolutes, Wieland doesn't envision any scenario where he'd vote for right to work -- which bars arrange
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Control of the United States Senate could depend on how well Democrats like Bob Butler fare in Jefferson County.

That might sound like hyperbole, but it’s not too far from the truth. Butler, an attorney who unsuccessfully ran for the House in 2014 and 2016, is one of two Democrats seeking to oust state Sen. Paul Wieland, R-Imperial.

Democrats like U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and state auditor Nicole Galloway need strong performances in Jefferson County to win their elections — and will depend on people like Butler to bring Democratic voters to the polls.

An email sent to St. Louis Public Radio about a now-scuttled soccer stadium prompted Attorney General Josh Hawley to once again look into Gov. Eric Greitens’ social media policies. Jan. 2017
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Rachel Lippmann round up this week’s legal and political news surrounding Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.

This week’s episode zeroes in on how Greitens’ political plight is weighing on other political figures — including Attorney General Josh Hawley.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announces he's issuing subpeonas in his Mission Continues investigation.
Erin Achenbach I St. Louis Public Radio

Attorney General Josh Hawley announced he’s issued 15 subpoenas as part of an investigation into how Gov. Eric Greitens’ campaign received a fundraising list from a veterans charity he founded.

He also said he would fight any attempt by Greitens to use “executive privilege” in the matter. Representatives of Greitens’ campaign did not respond to a request for comment Friday.

Tony Monetti
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tony Monetti to the program.

Monetti is one of 20 people that have signed up to run for the seat that U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill currently holds. Ten Republicans, including Attorney General Josh Hawley, have filed thus far.

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