New polls show that the race for Missouri’s Senate seat is incredibly close, with Democrat Claire McCaskill tied with Republican Josh Hawley. The pair has been locked in a tight race that has gained national attention as the incumbent McCaskill has criticized her own party and accused her opponent of “potentially illegal” behavior. Now, according to the Washington Examiner, the race will be a bitter fight to the finish line.
A Missouri Scout poll conducted November 1 and 2 shows Hawley with 47 percent of the vote and McCaskill with 47 percent as well. The numbers echo a recently completed Fox News poll, which shows the pair tied at 45 percent each. The poll, which was taken while President Trump appeared in the state to hold a rally for Hawley, showed that Hawley was up by 12 points in Columbia.
Third party candidates Jo Crain and Craig O’Dear each took 1 percent of the vote, with 3 percent undecided. Trump will return to the state to hold another rally in Cape Girardeau, where Hawley holds a lead of 71 to 24 percent over McCaskill.
The race was in the news recently after McCaskill accused her opponent of using political consultants in his role as the state’s Attorney General for his own benefit. A Kansas City Star report on October 31 revealed that Hawley used out-of-state political consultants to guide and assign tasks to the Attorney General’s taxpayer-funded staff in an effort to raise his national profile.
After becoming AG, Josh Hawley put DC political consultants in charge of his office to help him climb the political ladder instead of fulfilling his duties to Missourians. https://t.co/cHfbmugQWU— Team Claire (@McCaskill4MO) October 31, 2018
Yet here he is condemning political consultants the night he was elected. #MOSen pic.twitter.com/CDrH6Pt3Zd
“The idea that Hawley would turn over his attorney general’s office to D.C. campaign consultants strikes me as very problematic,” Brendan Fischer, director of the Campaign Legal Center’s federal reform program, told the Kansas City Star.
“The attorney general’s office has an enormous amount of responsibility for protecting the health and welfare of citizens of the state.”
While running for the office of Attorney General, Hawley had assured voters that he would not use the office for his own benefit.
“Jefferson City is full of career politicians just trying to climb the ladder, using one office to get another,” Hawley said. “I think you deserve better.”
“To the political establishment in Jefferson City, those of you, consultants and the lobbyists and the professional political class who’ve gotten used to running our state — your day is over, business as usual is done,” he added.
McCaskill called Hawley’s actions “a new standard for hypocrisy,” and said that he had crossed a “huge red line.”
“This is information that is being given by people who worked in that office who I’m sure were struck by how inappropriate and potentially illegal it was to have politically paid operatives embedded in the state official office for purposes of promoting Josh Hawley politically, both in the state of Missouri and nationally,” she said.
The Missouri Senator race has shifted subtly over time, favoring McCaskill and Hawley at different points, making the latest poll numbers a nail-biting outcome in the final days of the election.