Ballots Offer Voters Plenty of Options; GOP Senate Race, 1st Congressional District Are Hotly Contested; ELECTIONS 2012: Missouri Primary

By McDERMOTT, Kevin | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), August 5, 2012 | Go to article overview

Ballots Offer Voters Plenty of Options; GOP Senate Race, 1st Congressional District Are Hotly Contested; ELECTIONS 2012: Missouri Primary


McDERMOTT, Kevin, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


For St. Louis' new 1st Congressional District, Tuesday's election is a primary in name only. In reality, the bitter in-party fight between congressmen Russ Carnahan and William Lacy Clay for the Democratic nomination will almost certainly be the final word, returning one of them to Washington.

Missouri's GOP primary for the U.S. Senate, on the other hand, isn't the end of the real battle, but the beginning. Regardless of which of the three major Republicans emerges to challenge incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill, it will start a general election contest that could ultimately determine control of the Senate.

Tuesday's primaries will choose nominees across Missouri, for offices from governor to the Legislature to City Hall. The lieutenant governor's office, often derided as powerless, has nonetheless drawn a dozen candidates in both major parties. The exit of St. Louis' scandal-plagued Treasurer Larry Williams has prompted a four-way fight among Democrats.

Voters in many communities also will decide nonpartisan local races and issues, including tax hikes and bonds for public projects.

Primaries are the semifinals of politics. They weed out the field to pick one nominee from each party, for each office, setting up the final contests for the November general election.

"It's actually a confusing process for voters. There are so many candidates involved, and the choices can be hard," said Ken Warren, a political science professor at St. Louis University. "If you're a Republican or a Democrat, normally partisanship determines your vote choice. But in the primaries, they might be quite torn."

Two of the highest-profile offices - U.S. president and St. Louis mayor - won't be on Tuesday's ballots. Voters expressed their presidential preferences earlier this year, and St. Louis residents won't start winnowing the field for mayor until next year.

CLAY VS. CARNAHAN

The Clay-Carnahan race pits two established Democratic congressmen against each other for St. Louis' one remaining congressional seat, a fight forced by a new Republican-drawn district map. With the city's overwhelming Democratic base, the winner of the primary is the all-but-automatic winner of the general election three months later.

At stake is not just two political careers, but two family legacies. Clay is the son and successor of former longtime U.S. Rep. Bill Clay, D-St. Louis. Carnahan is the son of the late Democratic Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan. The two elder politicians were friends and allies, as were their sons, until this year's primary drew them into the current fight.

Carnahan maintains that Clay sided with Republicans in allowing the city to lose a district, nudging Carnahan out of his seat. Clay says Carnahan should have challenged the Republicans in the neighboring new 2nd Congressional District, rather than challenging a fellow Democrat. Carnahan has criticized Clay for his support of, and donations from, the rent-to-own industry. Clay has called Carnahan a friend of Wall Street for backing federal bailout legislation.

The new district has a slight African-American majority. Both candidates say race isn't an issue, while both have subtly made it one.

Clay, who is black, has said that electing a white candidate to a city seat that's been held by a black incumbent for two generations would be a setback for St. Louis African-Americans. Carnahan, who is white, has pressed the argument that he would be a better representative of black constituents because of Clay's alleged allegiance to predatory lenders.

GOP SENATE RACE

In the Senate race, the top Republican contenders are U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, businessman John Brunner and former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman. All three tout essentially identical conservative positions on most issues, so they've tried to differentiate in other ways: Akin on having one of the most conservative voting records in Congress; Brunner on his business experience as former CEO of Vi- Jon personal care products; and Steelman on her rural Tea Party base. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Ballots Offer Voters Plenty of Options; GOP Senate Race, 1st Congressional District Are Hotly Contested; ELECTIONS 2012: Missouri Primary
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.