Tags: mccaskill | obama | missouri | elections

Sen. McCaskill to Obama: Stay Out of Purple State Races

Image: Sen. McCaskill to Obama: Stay Out of Purple State Races

By Drew MacKenzie   |   Tuesday, 11 Feb 2014 10:45 AM

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill has made the shocking admission that she would not want President Barack Obama to campaign for her in Missouri if she were running for re-election.

And she also suggested on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that the president should stay out of the races in the other purple states of Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina.

"I'm trying to be really candid and honest on this show," said McCaskill. "You know, the president's numbers are not strong in my state, or in Arkansas, or Louisiana, or North Carolina. He did not win those states when he ran for re-election in 2012."

In Louisiana, Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is facing a tough challenge from Rep. Bill Cassidy, the leading Republican contender. And in Arkansas, Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor is set for a close race with Republican Rep. Tom Cotton.

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In North Carolina, Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan is trailing her two leading Republican opponents by as much as 7 percentage points, according to a Rasmussen poll last month.

Thom Tillis, Republican speaker of the state House of Representatives, has gained the biggest lead over Hagan, 47 percent to 40 percent, while tea party activist Greg Brannon is ahead of Hagan by 4 points, 43 percent to 39 percent.

Some Democrats who are gearing up for the midterm elections have made it clear to the president that they are not interested in having him help with their campaigns. And Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska even told Politico, "I don't care to have him campaign for me."

While meeting with Senate Democrats last week, Obama offered his help in re-election campaigns whenever needed. But Pryor felt that Obama's support would not be of any use in his campaign.

However, on "Morning Joe" on Tuesday, McCaskill rejected claims that the GOP would overturn the Democratic majority of 55-45 in the Senate.

While admitting that Democratic incumbents face tough elections in the midterms, she said, "That doesn't mean we can't win. These candidates in those states are strong candidates. They have been an independent voice for their states. They know how to stay on offense.

"I think this issue of whether or not you have Obama come to your state is something you like to focus on in Washington that probably is not that important when you get out to these states."

McCaskill, who beat Republican Todd Akin in 2012 after he shot himself in the foot with his "legitimate rape" remarks, added, "I think [2014 is] a challenge, but it reminds me of what everyone was saying in the early months of 2012. And we not only won in 2012, we picked up seats. So there's problems on the Republican side."

McCaskill also noted that the GOP have some "really nasty primaries" coming up in the next couple of months involving tea party candidates taking on established Republicans.

She added, "The dominant message in those primaries does not appeal to the mainstream, so I feel good about November."

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