Despite the fact that Republican Mitt Romney carried Missouri in Tuesday election easily, only one other Republican on the statewide ticket won.
Two-term GOP Lt. Governor Peter Kinder won a rare third term in office.
“We’ll be studying that for a while, I’ll tell you that,” said Republican political consultant Jeff Roe.
“Mitt Romney’s victory in Missouri was lonely.”
Nathan Adams agreed with Roe’s assessment the lack of Romney coat tails is “head scratching.”
“One out of every five Romney voters in Missouri voted for Claire McCaskill,” added Roe, ” a stunning development.”
Most double-digit winners at the top of ticket will help other races lower on the ballot. Roe compared it to an ocean wave hitting the beach and rolling up into the sand.
“The wave hit the first rock and dissipated. And that rock was Claire McCaskill,” observed Roe.
Another well established Republican consultant, John Hancock agreed.
“The momentum ended at the Senate”, Hancock said.
The “legitimate rape” comment by Republican Todd Akin was the main reason many voters cited as a reason for supporting for McCaskill, according to an Associated Press exit poll of Missouri voters.
That was complicated by another factor. The next race on the Missouri ballot behind the Senate race was Democratic incumbent Jay Nixon’s re-election bid.
Throughout Nixon’s first term, he governed as a moderate, steering a course clear of partisan statehouse battles over things like the new federal health care law.
It was another race that invited ticket-splitting.
Privately, there may be grumbling in Missouri GOP circles that some campaigns may not have raised enough money for an effective statewide drive.
That, however, was not the case for Republican gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence. He put $6 million of his own money into his unsuccessful campaign.
McCaskill lead the entire Missouri Democratic effort. She said they invested %6 million into the campaign’s ground game and getting out the vote on Tuesday.
There was very little help from the President’s campaign for Missouri Democrats. Many Democrats probably liked it that way. The President is not popular in Missouri, so his campaign never seriously bid for the state in 2012.
As a result, neither did Romney’s campaign. It didn’t have to. Polls showed Missouri continues to be a Republican leaning conservative state.