<b>Missouri</b> Senate race not strange this time, just competitive

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Republican incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt, right, speaks to Democratic challenger Jason Kander during the first general election debate in Missouri’s race for U.S. Senate at the Missouri Press Association convention Friday, Sept. 30, 2016, in Branson, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Four years after a strange campaign kept one Missouri Senate seat in Democratic hands, the party is hoping to capitalize on anti-incumbent sentiment and claim the other.
If 35-year-old Secretary of State Jason Kander upsets Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, it would be a coup for Democrats in a state where Republicans dominate the Legislature and haven’t lost a presidential race for two decades. Recent polls show Blunt, 66, a longtime member of Congress, with a slim lead, but it’s well within the polling margin of error, making the contest a virtual toss-up.
With Senate control potentially hanging in the balance, a Missouri campaign is a major national focus for the second time in four years.
In 2012, Sen. Claire McCaskill — once considered one of the chamber’s most vulnerable Democratic incumbents — easily won re-election after Republican challenger Todd Akin commented on a St. Louis TV talk show that women’s bodies have ways of avoiding …


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