The Missouri Democratic Party hopes to take some of the seats currently held by a large Republican majority in both chambers of the state legislature.

Chairman Roy Temple says there is a real opportunity for his party to make headway in those races. One issue that he thinks works in his party’s favor is Medicaid expansion.

“Medicaid is just a great example of where the current majority has worked around an ideological agenda instead of focusing on practical problem solving that would benefit Missouri families, Missouri communities and Missourians,” says Temple. “I think Medicaid is a great example of that but it’s not the only one.”

Several House Republicans have said they support some level of Medicaid expansion, perhaps coupled with reform. Temple thinks they’re only trying to defuse that as an issue in their races.

“They’ve come to realize that is a case that can be made against them, that they can be held accountable for their failure to act and for the harm that they’ve inflicted on Missourians in terms of healthcare,” says Temple.

He expects support from key, current Democratic office holders in state legislative races, and that includes support from Governor Jay Nixon (D).

“Governor Nixon clearly understands the harm that’s being inflicted by the current supermajorities in the General Assembly,” says Temple. “In fact there’s a fair argument that he understands it better than any other person in the State of Missouri because he has to deal with the consequences of their actions more directly than perhaps anyone else.”

Nixon has been criticized in the past for not coming to the aid of fellow Democrats in campaigns. Temple doesn’t comment on such critiques.

“I really have no interest in looking behind me or watching in the rear view mirror. I’m interested in looking forward,” says Temple. “We have an opportunity before us and I’m trying to marshal every available resource and every person who’s willing to assist us in that effort.”