In a final pitch Monday to independent and undecided voters before Election Day, Sen. Claire McCaskill told reporters she doesn’t “really care” whether Democrats win back a majority in the Senate or if Republicans squeak out another win.
The Missouri Democrat, one of 10 Democratic senators running for re-election this cycle in states President Donald Trump won in 2016, faces state Attorney General Josh Hawley in Tuesday’s midterm election.
“Honestly, I don’t really care what happens nationwide,” McCaskill said at a news conference on Monday.
“That’s not how I look at elections. I care about what happens in this state. I care about whether or not the people of this state have a representative that is willing to work in the middle,” McCaskill said. “Whether the Republicans control or the Democrats control, it takes 60 votes. So it doesn’t change that much.”
McCaskill had a 20-point edge — 56 percent support compared to Hawley’s 36-percent support — among independent voters, according to a new NBC News/Marist poll.
McCaskill led Hawley by 3 points in the NBC News/Marist poll released Monday, putting the Missouri Democrat in a statistical tie on the eve of Election Day since her edge was well within the survey’s margin of error.
“Missouri is politically split down the middle,” Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted this survey, said in a report accompanying it. “Independents are in the driver’s seat, and right now they’re leaning towards the Democrats.”
The picture from McCaskill’s Real Clear Politics average is less rosy for her odds at re-election, with the Democratic senator trailing or tied with Hawley in every other public poll conducted in October or November. Each of those results, however, was within the margin of error.
McCaskill remained focused on her race the night before the election, declining to weigh in on the Missouri battle’s significance for the overall Senate map.
“I don’t really see a huge difference in terms of the work of the Senate, whether it’s 51-49 Democrat, or 51-49 Republican,” she added. “And I’ve been there both ways.”
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