A lot of optimism ushers in the 37th annual gathering of Missouri Democrats in Hannibal. Popularly known as Hannibal Days, it’s an informal gathering of rank-and-file Democratic workers with the candidates they will try to help elect this November. State Democratic Party spokesman Jack Cardetti says Democrats come to Hannibal this weekend with a lot of optimism. Cardetti says Democrats have gathered in Hannibal the last few years with the wind in their face. He says they feel that the win is at their back this year.
Cardetti says Democrats are more energized this year than they have been for quite some time. He points to the record turnout for the February presidential primary as proof that Missouri Democrats are ready to usher in change not only on the national level, but in Jefferson City as well. Republican incumbent Governor Matt Blunt has decided against running for election, sending Republicans scrambling for a nominee. A primary will decide between State Treasurer Sarah Steelman and northeast Missouri Congressman Kenny Hulshof. Democrats have united behind the gubernatorial candidacy of Attorney General Jay Nixon.
Missouri Democrats do come to Hannibal Days split on their presidential candidate. Missouri mirrors the party nationally, divided nearly evenly between Illinois Senator Barack Obama and New York Senator Hillary Clinton. Though Obama won the Democratic presidential primary in Missouri, the race was so close Obama and Clinton split the state’s delegates.