Ex-swing state MO became Republican over the past decade, but Democrats seek to reverse trend as midterms near
Missouri’s top race is a faceoff between GOP Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Democrat Trudy Busch Valentine for retiring U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt’s seat, which is considered safely Republican.
Schmitt campaigned heavily against President Joe Biden’s inflation policies, describing Valentine as an out-of touch heiress who would support the Democratic president over Missourians.
Valentine’s campaign catchphrase was “nobody’s senator but yours,” and she slammed Schmitt for voting as a state senator to allow foreign ownership of farmland and over his support for the state’s ban on abortion.
Missouri was once a swing state but has become solidly Republican over the past decade. Still, Valentine had plenty of money to spend — she’s the daughter of the late longtime Anheuser-Busch chairman, August Busch Jr.
Missouri voters also will elect at least two new congressional representatives to fill the seats of Republicans who both ran unsuccessfully for Senate.
Party control in Missouri’s eight congressional districts seems unlikely to change from the Republicans’ current advantage over Democrats, which is six districts.
Top issues to be voted on are whether recreational marijuana can be legalized for adult use. Nearly two-thirds of Missouri voters in 2018 voted to approve medical marijuana use.
Here’s a look at what to expect on election night:
Polls close at 7 p.m. local time (8 p.m. ET).
How Missouri Votes
Most Missourians vote in person on Election Day.
Voters can apply to vote absentee by mail only if they meet certain criteria, such as being incapacitated or gone on Election Day.
AP will tabulate and declare winners in 101 contested elections in Missouri, including seven statewide races and eight U.S. House races. In the 2020 general election, AP first reported results at 8: 19 p.m. ET and 99.5% of results by 3 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Nov. 5.
AP doesn’t make projections or name likely winners. Only when AP is confident that a race has been won – which is defined as when a candidate who is trailing no longer has a way to win – will AP call a race. We will report on newsworthy developments if a candidate declares victory or offers a concession before AP calls a race. We will state that AP has not yet declared a winner, and explain why we think the race is too close or too early to call.
If the lead between the top two candidates in a statewide race or U.S. House race is less than 0.5%, the AP may call it.
Missouri doesn’t have a mandatory recount law. A recount can be requested for offices filed with the Secretary of State (president and federal), if the candidate was defeated in less than 0.5%. A recount can be requested for offices filed with local elections authorities if a candidate is defeated by less that 1% of votes.
The AP will not count down ballot races on election night if there is a margin of less than 2% between the top two candidates. The AP will review those races later in week to verify that there are not enough votes to count, which could affect the outcome.
State Attorney General Eric Schmitt speaks at an election-night gathering after winning the Republican primary for U.S. Senate on August 02, 2022, in St Louis, Missouri. Trudy Busch Valentine will challenge Schmitt for a seat as a state senator on Tuesday.
(Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)
What Else Should I Know?
Q: What Did We Learn From the Primary?
A: Missourians were unwilling to support former Republican Gov. Eric Greitens, marred by scandal, finished third in GOP Senate race.
Q: What’s Changed Since the Pandemic Election of 2020?
A: Voter ID will be required in November, which could increase the number of provisional ballots cast.
A recent state law change allows in-person voting without excuses from the Tuesday before Election Day through the day before Election Day. This could shift the voting turnout for general election.
Q: What Do Turnout and Advance Vote Look Like?
A: Voter turnout is projected to be about 2.6 million.
Q: How Long Does Counting Usually Take?
A: Absentee ballots are due by or before Election Day and may begin being processed five days before the election, which speeds things up. Nearly all absentee totals are reported in the first wave of results, which usually appears about 30 minutes after polls close.
Historically, only 0.5% of ballots remain uncounted on Election Day.
Q: What Are the Pitfalls With Early Returns?
A: The St. Louis region on the eastern side of the state makes up a third of the state’s population but is slow to report results. That means early returns can be skewed Republican since rural areas are overwhelmingly Republican.
Q: What Happens After Tuesday?
A: While unofficial vote tallies are released within hours, local election authorities have until Nov. 22 to audit and verify the election results.
I have been writing professionally for over 20 years and have a deep understanding of the psychological and emotional elements that affect people. I’m an experienced ghostwriter and editor, as well as an award-winning author of five novels.