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Ballotpedia's 2012 General Election Preview Articles: Missouri Congressional Seats

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November 1, 2012

By Ballotpedia's Congressional team

Missouri's Congressional Elections in 2012
U.S. Senate Election? U.S. House seats Possible competitive races?
Yes 8 1 (Senate)

JEFFERSON CITY: Missouri: Missouri has eight U.S. House seats and one U.S. Senate seat on the ballot in 2012. Seven U.S. House incumbents are running for re-election and face at least one challenger in the general election. Todd Akin, the Republican incumbent from the 2nd District, is challenging Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill for the Senate seat

Currently, the Republican Party holds five of nine Congressional seats and the U.S. Senate seat not on the ballot in November 2012.

In Missouri, all polling places are open from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM Central Time.[1]

See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times (2012)

U.S. Senate

After a competitive Republican primary, Congressman Todd Akin got the nomination to challenge Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill in the general election. Akin, a conservative, had monetary support from all over the country and was running a close race with McCaskill until late August.

On Sunday, August 19, Akin made the following statement on a KTVI-TV, a local St. Louis station, "It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down."

According to the New York Times, "Amid an uproar over provocative comments on rape and abortion that Mr. Akin made in an interview broadcast on Sunday, the National Republican Senatorial Committee declared that it would withdraw financial and organizational support for Mr. Akin, including $5 million in advertising already reserved for the fall. [...] At the same time, Republican candidates like Mitt Romney and Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts either called for Mr. Akin to step aside or strongly indicated that he should. In a radio interview, the conservative host Sean Hannity pleaded with Mr. Akin to drop out. “Sometimes an election is bigger than one person,” he said. But Mr. Akin said on Monday that he would not drop out. “I’m not a quitter,” he said on Mike Huckabee’s radio program. “My belief is we’re going to take this thing forward, and by the grace of God, we’re going to win this race.”"[2]

After this event, Akin dropped behind in polls and in popularity, but in the last few weeks of the campaign, he has begun to close the gap with McCaskill, who is unpopular in Missouri because of her liberal voting record. The race still trends in McCaskill's favor according to most race ratings.[3]

State General Election Candidates Incumbent 2012 Winner Partisan Switch?
Missouri Class 1 Senate seat Democratic Party Claire McCaskill
Republican Party Todd Akin
Libertarian Party Jonathan Dine
Claire McCaskill Pending Pending

U.S. House

The Center for Voting and Democracy (Fairvote) projects that Democrats will win two districts while Republicans will win five seats. It does not make a projection for the remaining district.[4]

Missouri lost a congressional seat following the results of the 2010 Census, bringing its number of representatives down to eight. The redistricting trimmed the seat from St. Louis, changing up the 1st and 3rd Congressional Districts and upsetting their liberal Democrat representatives, William Lacy Clay and Russ Carnahan, respectively. With Carnahan’s own home now in Clay’s 1st District, the two saw the new map as unfair. In the 1st District, William Lacy Clay and Russ Carnahan, both Democratic incumbents, chose to face off in the primary in August. Clay won the nomination, and is running against Robyn Hamlin (R) in the general election.

The 4th District's Republican incumbent, Vicky Hartzler, was first elected in 2010, replacing long-time Democratic representative Ike Skelton. Democratic candidate Teresa Hensley is attempting to retake the seat.

Here is a complete list of U.S. House candidates appearing on the general election ballot in Missouri:

Members of the U.S. House from Missouri -- Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 3 2
     Republican Party 6 6
Total 9 8
 Congressional Redistricting Map, approved May 2011 

For more information, view Redistricting in Missouri.


See also