Jackson County Executive and Missouri Democratic chairman Mike Sanders said Tuesday he expects the Senate race between Claire McCaskill and Todd Akin to be close, despite her spending advantage in the campaign.
"Every U.S. election cycle that we've seen that's competitive comes down to the wire. That's the history in the state of Missouri," Sanders said at Union Station. "It's going to come down to 10:30 at night."
Sanders made the statement as Akin, along with with former House speaker Newt Gingrich, began a 20-hour swing through Kansas City to raise money and enthusiasm for the GOP campaign.
McCaskill has had an enormous fundraising advantage so far -- $15.8 million raised, compared with Akin's $3.8 million. Outside groups have also spent $5.8 million for her, compared with $1.4 million for him.
Despite that, a weekend poll for The Star, The Post-Dispatch, and KMOV-TV showed her up just two points in the state.
Sanders said her lead might be bigger than that.
"Let's see what the election results show," he said. "But the reality is, that's Missouri.
"It's a rare thing to say, or have anyone argue, that the Democratic party has more money than the Republican party, or that we've outspent them," he continued.
Asked if he was suggesting McCaskill had spent less than Akin -- which public figures show is clearly not the case -- Sanders demurred.
"If you take all the Democratic money spent in this election cycle, and all the Republican money spent in this election cycle, we've been so dramatically outspent that all of that has a cumulative effect," he said.
Jay Nixon has outraised Republican Dave Spence almost 2-to-1. Other statewide Democratic candidates have also been competitive, but Sanders did not back down.
"We'll sit down after the election and go through the numbers," he told reporters.