By Susan Redden
The Joplin Globe
JOPLIN, Mo. —
With less than a month to go until the Nov. 6 election, Missouri candidates and political parties could be counting their chickens, or crossing their fingers, based on recent polling.
Survey results show Republican nominee Mitt Romney leading President Barack Obama in Missouri.
But Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill is ahead of challenger Todd Akin in the U.S. Senate race, and in the contest for Missouri governor, Democratic incumbent Jay Nixon is far outpacing challenger Dave Spence.
In polls taken since Oct. 1, the Romney effort in Missouri has a margin of 51 percent to 45 percent over the president in Public Policy Polling, while Rasmussen Reports puts the margin at 49 percent for Romney and 46 percent for Obama.
McCaskill is leading Akin 51 percent to 45 percent, according to Rasmussen Reports polling, and 46 percent to 40 percent, based on reports from Public Policy Polling. Results from the same firm put Nixon ahead of Spence, 54 percent to 35 percent.
Democrats issued a statement based on the polls including a prediction from Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, who said Nixon “could match his 20 percent margin of victory from 2008.”
Other poll results released by the party showed incumbent Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder favored by 42 percent to 38 percent over challenger Susan Montee. Incumbent Attorney General Chris Koster had a comfortable lead — 52 percent to 34 percent — over GOP challenger Ed Martin. The results were based on Public Policy Polling surveys of 700 Missouri voters from Oct. 1-3.
Group backs Nixon
The Missouri Association of School Administrators issued a statement endorsing the re-election of Nixon as governor.
Mary Beth Scherer, superintendent of the Concordia School District and the association’s president, in a statement cited Nixon’s support of K-12 education and his opposition to school vouchers.
The release included remarks from Phil Cook, superintendent of the Carl Junction School District and president of the association’s Southwest District. He said Missouri “needs a leader that upholds the values that protect Missouri public schools and who works with all stakeholders to ensure student needs are put first.”
“Jay Nixon has been that leader and I look forward to working with the governor in his second term,” Cook said.
Two statewide candidates last week announced endorsements by the National Rifle Association.
Koster, the incumbent attorney general, announced the endorsement and said he is the only statewide Democratic candidate to receive support from the group. The Republican candidate for secretary of state, Shane Schoeller, of Willard, also cited an endorsement.
Koster is being challenged by Martin. Schoeller and Democrat Jason Kander are seeking the secretary of state’s post being vacated by Robin Carnahan. Martin ran for Congress earlier and was a chief of staff for former Gov. Matt Blunt. Schoeller and Kander currently are state representatives.
Janet Huckabee for Akin
Janet Huckabee, wife of former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, will be in Joplin on Oct. 16 to speak at a “Women for Akin” gathering set for 6:30 p.m. at the Continental Banquet Center, 2802 N. Range Line Road.
Judith Wright-Patterson, who will be host of the event, said the gathering is open to men and women. Appetizers will be served. Tickets, at $20 each, are available by calling Wright-Patterson at 691-3142 or Meleah Jones at 483-1013. Tickets also are available at Jasper County Republican headquarters, 3950 E. Seventh St.; Joplin area GOP campaign headquarters, 2727 E. 32nd St.; Newton County GOP headquarters, 122 S. Wood St., Neosho; and Suite IB in the Carthage Professional Building, 221 W. Fourth St.
Susan Redden is a staff writer for the Globe. She can be reached at email@example.com or 417-623-3480, ext. 7258. Follow her on Twitter @Susan_Redden.