McCaskill in the middle

It’s no scoop to report that certain Red State Democratic Senators are in a bind when it comes to the vote on President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee (to be announced today). Vote to confirm the nominee, and you break with the base on the left’s most important issue of the year (and of our lifetime, to hear the Dems talk). Vote against confirmation, and you alienate many center-right voters in a state dominated by the center right.

Sen. Claire McCaskill represents Missouri, and has since 2007. She was reelected in 2012 because the GOP nominated Todd Akin, who proceeded to make an idiotic remark about rape. Donald Trump carried Missouri by 19 points in 2016.

McCaskill’s opponent is Josh Hawley, the state’s Attorney General. Hawley, a former Supreme Court clerk for Chief Justice Roberts, is an attractive candidate — arguably the biggest star among Republicans seeking to defeat incumbent Democratic Senators this year.

Today, Hawley released his first campaign ad. It’s about the Supreme Court.

Hawley declares:

The eyes of the nation are on Missouri. We decide which values control the Senate, and the Supreme Court. Claire McCaskill wants liberals in charge, that’s how she votes. That’s not Missouri’s way, and it won’t be my way.

Hawley released a statement with the ad calling on McCaskill to “make a break with [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck Schumer” and back President Trump’s pick for the high court. As a political matter, Hawley will probably be okay with whichever way McCaskill votes on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, as long as the nominee is confirmed.

For McCaskill, the vote looks like a lose-lose proposition.

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