Claire McCaskill is in trouble. Big trouble. So much trouble that she’s now resorting to attacking Hillary Clinton – her own party’s nominee for president just less than two years ago – to try to convince conservative, rural Missouri voters to re-elect her to the U.S. Senate in November.
Real Clear Politics ranks the Democratic incumbent candidate’s re-election bid as a “toss-up,” while MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt described McCaskill as “possibly the most endangered” Democrat up for re-election this year. But perhaps no other measurement highlights the amount of trouble McCaskill is in than this recent poll, showing her trailing her Republican opponent, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley by eight points.
A separate poll revealed that McCaskill trails Hawley by two points.
Neither is good news for the red state Democrat, whose constituents overwhelmingly voted for Donald Trump in 2016. But while McCaskill has made it her mission the last year and a half to attack the man for whom her constituents voted overwhelmingly, she now apparently realizes that wasn’t the best political strategy. Instead, McCaskill is now going after the presidential nominee she supported in 2016, Hillary Clinton.
During a recent interview with MSNBC’s Hunt, McCaskill was asked whether Clinton’s comments about Trump voters in middle America were helpful to her and to her campaign in Missouri.
“No, probably not,” McCaskill answered. “I understand the point she was trying to make, but it felt like she was criticizing Missouri voters and I would draw — you talk about drawing a line, I would draw a line there. I have great respect for Missouri voters, and there are a lot of reasons they voted for Donald Trump, some of which I completely understand.”
“I mean, frustration is a powerful motivator,” McCaskill added. “If you’ve played by the rules and worked hard all your life and you’re farther behind this year than you were ten years ago, no wonder you want something completely different.”
The Missouri Democrat added that she and other red state Democrats would “really appreciate if she would be more careful and show respect to every American voter and not just the ones that voted for her.”