It is that time again to take a look at how the presidential race is shaping up in the Show Me State. As we all know, this is a very close, important and historical election. Missouri is a key state in this election, as it is the epitome of a swing state.
A couple of large urban districts and one good sized college town all surrounded by thousands of square miles of rural and small towns. Placed right in the middle of the country, it has both the sensibilities of the Bible Belt as well as the moderate-to-liberal attitudes of Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. If Obama is to win this state’s electoral votes, he will need to get a large turnout in Kansas City and St. Louis and appeal to the moderate voters on the northern part of the state, as the central and southern part of the state will be avoiding him like the plague.
One important issue, perhaps the most important issue, in Missouri, much like the rest of the country, is the economy. Here is where Obama has to feel he is in the lead against McCain, especially considering the continued credit crisis that has led to large scale bailouts and buyouts along with large uncertainty on Wall Street.
Just in the past few days, we have seen Lehman Brothers file for bankruptcy, Merrill Lynch be bought out by Bank of America in what was essentially a bailout from the government and AIG got an $85 billion loan from the Federal Reserve to sustain liquidity. The large portion of this crisis has stemmed from the overabundance of sub-prime mortgages and securities backed by these mortgages.
Once these high-rate mortgages started going into default at a large rate, the companies that were investing in these mortgages started losing money quite quickly. Combine this with the fact that home values were also falling due to over appreciation in key markets and brokers providing mortgages that were worth more than the value of the home and it is easy to see how these companies were soon without any liquidity.
Obama is doing the smart thing on the campaign trail and pointing the finger at Republicans and their economic philosophy of deregulation. More pointedly, he is not letting McCain get away with his recent attempt at trying to paint himself as a reforming populist when it comes to the economy. McCain has recently stated that recent events on Wall Street highlighted the “recless conduct, corruption and unbridled greed” of corporations. He also said that it was shameful that CEOs are getting large severance packages after being dismissed or stepping down. He has also stated that he would put together a special commission, a la 9/11, to look into the issues surrounding the credit and mortgage crisis.
Obama jumped all over that over the last couple of days. Regarding McCain making a commission, Obama called it “the oldest Washington stunt in the book.” “You pass the buck to a commission to study the problem,” Obama said. “This isn’t 9/11. We know how we got into this mess. What we need now is leadership that gets us out. I’ll provide it. John McCain won’t.” McCain was also lumped in with Republicans when Obama stated that it was the philosophy of deregulation that brought about this financial crisis that the country finds itself in now. He stated that McCain “can’t be trusted to re-establish proper oversight of our financial markets for one simple reason: He has shown time and again that he does not believe in it.” Obama needs to keep the pressure on the economy, as that is the biggest issue facing Americans now and his best chance at getting elected.
We do have some new poll numbers in Missouri to look at. Zogby Interactive has McCain at 48.5% against Obama’s 42.4%. The margin of error is 4.1% and the poll was run between 9/9 and 9/12. Rasmussen gives the edge to McCain 51% to 44% and has a margin of error of 4%. The poll was conducted on 9/11. Opinion Research conducted two polls. The first one included Bob Barr and Ralph Nader and had McCain a favorite, 48% to 44%. Without the two independents, McCain again came out on top, 50-45%. The margin of error was 3.2 % and the poll was ran 9/7-9/9. While McCain has the lead in this state, it is actually pretty tight when you take all three polls combined along with the error margins.
Also, Obama has cut a bit into McCain’s lead compared to the polls ran in August, which was prior to the Republican conventions and the nomination of Palin. Thus, we can see a trend upwards for Obama. I have to feel that the recent concerns about the economy have to be taken into consideration here. Better start talking about gay marriage and abortion!
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association