See 2012 Senate Elections - Who's Winning, Who's Losing for an overview of all 33 US Senate races, on a state-by-state basis.
The Incumbent US Senator
Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill was part of the Democrat-heavy Senate class of 2006 swept into office in the unpopular wake of the Bush-Cheney presidency and the failing Iraq War. McCaskill was the victor over ultra-conservative Republican incumbent Sen. Jim Talent in a very close contest that hinged, in part, of McCaskill's strong support of embryonic stem cell research.
Before the U.S. Senate, Claire McCaskill served as Missouri State auditor from 1998 to 2006, and as Jackson County Prosecutor from 1992 to 1998. (See Profile of Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri for more.)
Politically savvy Sen. McCaskill was a very early supporter of Barack Obama's presidential ambitions. In January 2008, she the first female U.S. senator to endorse Obama for the presidency, and soon after, was named as a national co-chair of his campaign for the White House.
In the 112th Congress, Sen. McCaskill is a member of the Senate Commerce, Armed Forces, and Homeland Security committees.
Incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill is running for reelection as U.S. Senator from Missouri in 2012.
Missouri's 2012 Senate Race
One Democrat and six Republicans have declared their candidacies to challenge incumbent Sen. McCaskill's reelection bid. Despite a messy 2011 financial scandal, McCaskill is expected to easily win the Democratic primary.
Top Republican contenders include:
- Six-term Congressman Todd Akin, who is staunchly pro-life
- Sarah Steelman, Missouri state treasurer from 2005 to 2009, and Missouri legislator from 1998 to 2005.
- John Brunner, a wealthy businessman CEO and Marine Corps veteran
Who Will Win?
RealClearPolitics.com rates Missouri's 2012 U.S. Senate election race as a "Toss-Up." Recent polls show McCaskill trailing three different Republican candidates in one-on-one matches.
Recent Election Results
Missouri's two U.S. senators serving in the 112th Congress (2011 to 2012) are:
- Democrat Claire McCaskill, serving her first term
- Republican Roy Blunt, serving his first term, seven terms in the House of Representatives
Governor Jay Nixon is a Democrat, while Lieutenant Governor peter Kinder is Republican.
In the last four presidential elections, Missouri voted as follows:
- 2008 - 49% for Democrat Obama, 49% for Republican McCain
- 2004 - 53% for Republican Bush, 46% for Democrat Kerry
- 2000 - 50% for Republican Bush, 47% for Democrat Gore
- 1996 - 48% for Democrat Clinton, 41% for Democrat Dole, 11% for Other
Unemployment Rate as of June 2011 - Missouri's unemployment rate of 8.8% was just under the national average, and ranked 20th among all states.
Foreclosure Rates as of June 2011 - Missouri's home foreclosure rate of 1 in every 1051 homes was far lower than the state average, and ranked 28th among all homes.
State Residents Living Below Poverty-Level Income - 13.4% of all Missouri residents qualify as living below the poverty line.
Labor Union Membership - 327,000 of workers in Missouri, representing 12.8% of all employees in the state, belong to labor unions, which is the 16th highest state concentration of labor union members.
Senior Citizen Population - Residents 65 years old and over comprise 14.0% of Missouri's population, which ranks 16th among all states.
Women as a Percentage of Missouri's Population - 51.0% of all Missouri residents are women, which ranks 18th among all states.
Hispanic Population - Only 3.5% of Missouri residents are of Hispanic heritage, which ranks 39th among all states.
African-American Population - African-Americans comprise 12% of Missouri's population, which ranks 17th among all states.