A new report from CNN ranks Missouri as the most likely U.S. Senate seat to flip from Democrat to Republican in 2018. The report notes the broad Republican backing of Attorney General Josh Hawley, who was endorsed by President Trump last month, to unseat incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill:
Incumbent: Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill
This is the state where the Steve Bannon vs. Mitch McConnell civil war is on hold and things are largely going according to plan for Republicans.
McCaskill is one of five Democratic senators up for re-election in a state Trump won by double digits in 2016. Unlike the special election in Alabama and contests in several other states — including Nevada and Arizona — Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist, and McConnell, the Senate majority leader, are both backing Attorney General Josh Hawley here. McConnell pointed to Hawley at a news conference a month ago as the type of candidate he believes “can actually win.”
This race will be expensive and brutal. Expect Democrats to cast Hawley, who just won his job a year ago, as a ladder-climber.