Democratic Missouri U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill is in the national spotlight because of the tight race she’s in, and because of her campaign tactics.
The New York Times singled out McCaskill and Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana as two vulnerable Democrats who have aggressively distanced themselves from the left wing for their party.
In McCaskill’s case, the newspaper points to a radio ad in which two men agree the Senator “is not afraid to stand up to her party” and is not “one of those crazy Democrats.” The ad could be targeting some Republicans who voted for President Trump, who carried the state by 19 points.
But it’s drawing repercussions from some Missouri Democrats.
CNN reported that outgoing State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal of University City said the phrase “crazy Democrats” could be referring to African American voters in cities. Chappelle-Nadal told CNN that McCaskill “is calling her base in the urban areas crazy Democrats and she’s relying on those so-called crazy Democrats to make sure she wins.”
The state Senator further told Missourinet that McCaskill should clarify for those who might vote for her exactly who “crazy Democrats” are. “Are they African Americans? Are they activists on the ground working against racial inequity? Are they the LGBT community? Are they the pro-choicers? Who are these crazy Democrats?” Chappelle-Nadal said she can’t support McCaskill and will be writing in a candidate when casting a ballot.
McCaskill was one of numerous Republicans and Democrats to call on Chappelle-Nadal to resign in August 2017 when the state Senator posted on Facebook that she wished someone would assassinate Trump. Chappelle-Nadal removed the post, apologized for her comment and explained that it was a reaction to the President’s comment that white nationalists who protested in Charlottesville, Virginia included “some very fine people”. The state Senator was removed from all her committee assignments by the Democratic caucus shortly after the Facebook incident.
St. Louis based Democratic Congressman William Lacy Clay, who also called for Chappelle-Nadal’s resignation, recently expressed support for McCaskill. The two-term U.S. Senator has been criticized for overlooking African American voters in the current election cycle. Lacy Clay told Missourinet that he has a very good working relationship with McCaskill.
“She’s always there for issues that impact the African American community,” said Lacy Clay. “And she always stands with (Democratic) Representative (Emanuel) Cleaver and I on the issues that impact our communities.”
In 2016, Lacy Clay and Chappelle-Nadal were political rivals when the state Senator challenged the eight-term Congressman for his seat. Lacy Clay dominated the three-way primary while pummeling second place Chappelle-Nadal 63%-27%.
McCaskill and Republican Senate challenger Josh Hawley exchanged barbs in their final debate Thursday before the November 6th election. All recent polling has shown them in a statistical tie.
(This story has been updated to include further comments from state Senator Chappelle-Nadal)