U.S. SENATOR FOR MISSOURI
Missouri heavily favored Trump in the 2016 election, beating Hillary Rodham Clinton 56.4% to 39.7%. In 2012, Mitt Romney carried the state by nearly ten percentage points. Although Claire is a moderate Democrat, able to reach across the aisle, her support of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 elections in a staunchly red state may create an uphill battle for McCaskill in the 2018 midterms.
Voter turnout in Missouri for the November 2016 election was higher than in 2012, but still fell far short of the record-breaking numbers predicted. Only about 67% of registered voters cast their ballots, so increasing voter turnout is critical. In addition, a key goal for the McCaskill team should be highlighting her moderate stances, willingness to go against her own party when she deems it necessary, strong advocacy for veterans issues, curbing wasteful government spending, and advocacy for students and children nationally. All of these issues she supports appeal to conservative voters as well as left-leaning, and should be a good area for common ground in her home state.
Claire Conner McCaskill was born and raised in Missouri by parents who were active in the Democratic political scene. Her father Bill, a WWII Bronze Star vet, was the Missouri State Insurance Commissioner, and her mother Betty was the first woman elected to the Columbia City Council. Her parents encouraged her to be active from an early age; at Halloween, Claire could be heard saying, “Trick or treat, and vote for JFK!”
Claire attended public school, and worked waiting tables to pay her way through school at the University of Missouri at Columbia. She then attended law school, and worked for a time as a federal prosecutor specializing in sex crimes. In 1982, she was elected to the Missouri State Legislature, and became the first woman in the position to have a baby while in office, elevating Claire as a role model for many women to come after, balancing motherhood with a high-powered job in politics. In 1992, Claire made history again when she was the first woman elected to Jackson County Prosecutor, leading the largest prosecutor's office in the state. In 2004, Claire unseated the incumbent Governor in the primary election, but later lost to Republican Matt Blunt—the first defeat in her twenty-one year political career. In 2006, she became the first woman from Missouri to win a seat in the US Senate, earning the seat once held by Harry Truman.
Claire communicates eagerly with her constituents; she is even known to personally reply on Twitter and Tumblr. As a beloved politician in Missouri, Claire has earned a reputation as a plain-spoken, independent voice for Missouri's families and businesses. Claire returns home to Missouri nearly every weekend, where she spends time with her nine grandchildren. She and her husband Joseph have a blended family of seven children, four of whom live in St. Louis.
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