Politically, Missouri has the reputation of being a bellwether state which is courted by presidential candidates. And, it might be a safe bet that the trend will continue.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama (D-IL) has made a number of stops in St. Louis in recent weeks. Presumptive Republican nominee John McCain (R-AZ) has been stumping in Missouri and is expected back in the state next week.

University of Missouri-Columbia political science professor Peverill Squire says we can expect that courting to continue as Democrats and Republicans battle it out as we head to November. Squire says that while Missouri has only 11 electoral votes, the votes are seen as being up for grabs, so the parties put a lot of effort into securing those votes.

He says there are states like California which have five times the number of electoral votes, but Democrats feel they already have those votes and Republicans don’t see any point in spending time campaigning heavily in a state they have little chance of winning.

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