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Politically Speaking: The Trump Factor: How the president will affect Missouri’s Senate contest

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
President Donald Trump arrives at St. Louis Lambert International Airport to attend a March 2018 fundraiser for GOP U.S. Senate hopeful Josh Hawley.

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.

Hawley has consistently praised Trump’s administration on the campaign trail — and received Trump and Vice President Mike Pence’s endorsement. McCaskill hasn’t been as critical as some of her Democratic colleagues, but noted on an episode of Politically Speaking that Trump’s presence in Missouri could unify Democratic voters around her candidacy.

This week’s episode also focuses on some of proposed charter amendments that St. Louis County resident could vote on in November. They include:

  • Campaign contribution limits for county-level offices.
  • Requirements to post financial information online.
  • More power to the St. Louis County Council to make decision on county finances.

St. Louis County residents will also decide on a 1/8th of one cent sales tax for the St. Louis Zoo. Some of the estimated $20 million proceeds could go toward an animal breeding facility and potential adventure park in north St. Louis County.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies

Music: “Concealer” by Thursday

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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