McCaskill Admits - This Race is a Tough One

Urges Democratic supporters to get organized for November

Kevin Killeen
July 02, 2018 - 6:29 pm

Kevin Killeen/KMOX

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SUNSET HILLS, Mo. (KMOX) - Facing her first election cycle in the Trump era, Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill is calling herself "the underdog."

During a campaign stop in the St. Louis area -- complete with the Claire Bus -- McCaskill urged the crowd of about 75 to get out and vote, and "to not just stay home and curse at your TV."

In a meeting with reporters afterwards, McCaskill was asked to explain the challenges of this race as she sees it.

"You know, listen, I'm an underdog in Missouri. I've been an underdog in most of my races. I like to punch above my weight, and I think this is a race where I need to punch above my weight."

Asked what she has to do right to win in November, McCaskill paused and then said, "everything."

McCaskill says she needs to locate and identify her voters, knock on millions of doors across the state, and have a volunteer and get-out-the-vote effort that's second-to-none.  

Two Republicans are on the August primary ballot, vying for a chance to run against her. McCaskill says she has no preference calling them both "smart, articulate men."

Looming large in the race right now is the opening on the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to underscore McCaskill's support of abortion rights. McCaskill was asked if she might be tempted to soften her support of abortion rights during the nomination process to help her win re-election as a moderate.

"I'm confident that most Missourians know that I have a long record of supporting women's reproductive health freedoms," she said. "That has not changed one bit."

McCaskill spoke for about an hour to the crowd on her support for providing health coverage for pre-existing conditions. She says her likely opponent, Republican Josh Hawley, would favor insurance companies over people on the issue.