WASHINGTON - Sen. Claire McCaskill is one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats up for re-election in 2018, but the Missouri Democrat is raising gobs of campaign cash as Republicans struggle to settle on a candidate to challenge her.
McCaskill’s campaign said Monday she had raised about $3 million throughout the last three months, from April through June. That’s more than any other Senate candidate in Missouri has raised at this point in the election cycle, and McCaskill closed the third quarter with more than $5 million in the bank, her campaign said.
She’ll need every penny and more, since the Missouri race is expected to be one of the most expensive and hotly contested in the country. McCaskill is one of 10 Senate Democrats up for re-election in a state won by President Trump, and his victory in Missouri was overwhelming — nearly 19 percentage points.
Despite that promising political landscape, Republicans don’t yet have a star recruit for the race. Rep. Ann Wagner, a St. Louis County Republican, was widely expected to run against McCaskill but she bowed out earlier this month.
Several big-name Missouri Republicans are pushing the state’s attorney general, conservative firebrand Josh Hawley, to run. But so far, Hawley has said it’s “far too early” for him to be considering another race; he won the AG slot in 2016, in part by railing against overly ambitious “career politicians” always on the lookout for the next political opportunity.
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