The Missouri Senate race between Roy Blunt and Jason Kander is, in a word, tight.
Blunt, the incumbent Republican senator currently holds a roughly 2-point lead on his Democratic foe according to Real Clear Politics. With almost all recent polling data giving the edge to Blunt, it’s easy to become complacent, though neither Blunt nor Kander are ready to approach the election lying down.
After polling behind Blunt since the primary nominations in early August, Kander has closed the gap substantially, pulling to within just a few points in most polls. The close race puts pressure on the Republican party; a lost senate seat in Missouri would bring the Democratic party closer to a majority control. To combat this, both the Democratic and Republican parties are pouring money into the campaign of their nominee in hopes of securing what looks to be a closely contested seat in the senate.
Blunt is largely considered a right-of-center Conservative. After serving as Missouri’s Secretary of State between 1985 and 1992, Blunt stepped away from politics briefly, serving as President of Southwest Baptist University between 1993 and 1996. The call of political office was too strong for Blunt, though, as he resumed his spot in the political limelight in 1996, serving in the House of Representatives for four years before being elected to the Senate in 2010. During his current tenure in the Senate, Blunt served on committees including the Committee on Armed Services and the Appropriations Committee.
Interestingly, Kander is taking the same approach to his campaign that Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson and nominee Donald Trump have: Painting himself as an outsider, poised to bring change to the political system. At just 35 years of age, Kander has less experience in politics than his opposition. And unfortunately for Kander, his inexperience shows. He has supported questionable “fixes” for healthcare that include keeping Obamacare, and received an “F” grade from the NRA, despite claiming he supports the Second Amendment.
When it comes time to vote for Missouri’s empty Senate seat, voters will be asked to choose between a man with almost two decades of experience and one with relatively little political experience. To be blunt, the choice should be an easy one.