Sen candidates square off:
Republican US Senate candidate Josh Hawley pushed hard at a debate Friday to paint Claire McCaskill as “another Washington liberal,” a phrase he repeated over and over, while the incumbent Democrat touted herself as a moderate compromiser.
The Missouri Press Association hosted a candidate forum that featured the two front-runners and two other candidates. It marked the first time the candidates have debated. The stakes are huge:
The race in Missouri is among the nation’s most closely-watched campaigns, one of a handful expected to decide which party controls the Senate, where Republicans currently hold a 51-49 advantage.
Both sides are spending heavily, and outside groups are buying up ad time across the state. Polls indicate the race is a toss-up. Hawley, the state’s 38-year-old first-term attorney general, has the support of President Donald Trump, who carried Missouri by 19 percentage points in 2016. At least seven times during the hour-long debate he referred to McCaskill as “another Washington liberal.” (AP)