Democratic Statewide Candidates Converge On St. Louis County
Governor Jay Nixon and others battle perception that Mitt Romney could give Republicans a lift in Missouri on election day.
One day after most of the statewide Republican Party ticket made its way to St. Louis County with a rally in Valley Park, Democrats, led by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, gathered outside a Town and Country-area labor hall to urge on volunteers in the closing days of the campaign.
Nixon, lieutenant governor candidate Susan Montee, State Treasurer Clint Zweifel, Attorney General Chris Koster and secretary of state candidate Jason Kander were at the The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Hall in unincorporated St. Louis County just north of Manchester Road after many of them had been at a Webster Groves rally featuring former U.S. Representative Dick Gephardt.
Nixon, who played ringleader for the event, said that between Saturday and Tuesday, Democrats planned to knock on a million Missouri doors and make 1.6 million phone calls. But with national Democrats having long conceded the state to Republicans in the presidential race, Missouri's GOP hopes a Romney win in Missouri will carry them to power at the state level.
Montee, who acknowledged that she faces a tougher climb because of the perception that the lt. governor's role is largely ceremonial, disagreed.
"Its not that our voters are apathetic and don't care and theirs have something going on, there's no Republican presidential race going on here either," she said. The Romney campaign held a rally in Kirkwood earlier this year, but outside of fundraising, has not had a Missouri presence in the general election.
In an interview with Patch following the event, Governor Nixon said he was confident Democrats would get out the vote. Nixon's own campaign against Republican businessman Dave Spence has been notable in that he has hardly, at all referenced the Democratic party in his advertising. He also kept a low profile at the party's convention in Charlotte.
But he pushed back hard at the suggestion that he's taken credit as Governor for accomplishments driven by a Republican-controlled legislature, pointing to line-item vetoes necessary to balance the state budget, and the work done to maintain Missouri's AAA credit rating.
And with that, Nixon hit the road for a mid-day rally in St. Charles, as both parties continue the final push to Tuesday, as both parties try to reach the more than 25 percent of Missouri voters who as of now are predicted to stay home on election day.
- Among those in the crowd, and not recognized on stage, was Glenn Koenen, the Democratic candidate for the 2nd District U.S. House seat. Koenen, of Oakville, is considered a longshot in his bid to succeed Todd Akin. By contrast, his opponent, Ballwin's Ann Wagner, has been supporting candidates in other campaigns in and out of Missouri and last weekend delivered the Republican radio address.
- Nixon, an unabashed fan of the University of Missouri athletic program, had campaign signs in a blue and orange hue perfectly matching the football Tigers' Saturday opponents from the University of Florida Gators. He made a point of pointing out that he was wearing green at the St. Louis appearance because he planned to be in Maryville, MO later in the day for a Northwest Missouri State football game.
- Speaking of football, former St. Louis Rams lineman Glenn Williams was expected to be part of a rally Saturday night at Westminster Christian Academy in support of Todd Akin's U.S. Senate bid.