University of Missouri Political Science Professor Peverill Squire says Republican Senate hopeful Roy Blunt appears to be outpacing his opponent, Democrat Robin Carnahan in the polls.
“Certainly the polls consistently show Blunt with a lead, the question is how large a lead he has. It’s all dictated by guesses as to who is going to show up at the polls on Election Day. Right now it appears that Republicans are probably going to come out in larger numbers than the Democrats but it really does remain to be seen,” Peverill said.
Republicans saw record-high turnouts in the August primary. But he says the November election is a different monster, and Democrats do a good job of “getting out the vote,” as those efforts have only become stronger in recent years.
“I think it probably will still be a close race. Both of them have enough money to certainly get their message out and there are plenty of other people willing to spend on their behalf. Of course they’re both well-known names in the state and people have decided opinions about each of them,” Peverill said.
Squire says a major factor in this race, and all of the races nationwide, will be dissatisfaction with Government.
“Generally, I think every survey on this sort of question finds that people are very unhappy and that unhappiness translates to both parties. The problem for Democrats is that they hold more seats right now, so they’re a little more vulnerable to the unhappiness with the general shape of American politics,” Peverill said.
Peverill says he expects to be surprised by voter turnout on November 2nd. But he’s not sure which side will provide the surprise.
“The Democrats have an uphill battle, and again, if they’re able to get their people turn out at the polls they may be able to do a little better than expected. If the Republicans come out in larger numbers and swamp Democratic voters, then we’ll see a big change in Washington,” Peverill said.
Squire says it’s too early to tell which of those situations will play out, but he thinks it may be more obvious in the final month of campaigning before the election.