U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill entered the Community Room at Shakepeare’s Pizza downtown Friday afternoon by announcing she and her Republican challenger, Josh Hawley, were statistically tied just four days before Tuesday’s midterm election.

The crowd of about 70, which spilled out of the room and into nearby hallways, met the announcement with loud applause.

McCaskill’s “Fighting for You” tour was making its second stop in Columbia at the downtown location of Shakespeare’s Pizza at 2 p.m. on Friday. Its first stop came on Oct. 23 at the Democrats’ coordinated campaign headquarters.

The visit came fewer than 24 hours after President Donald Trump’s visit to Columbia Regional Airport to campaign for Hawley. During his speech, Trump said that Democrats had gone “loco” and that McCaskill was too far left for Missouri.

McCaskill did not address the president’s comments Friday. She did tell the audience that Trump’s two visits to Missouri in the week before midterms was telling sign about the race.

“I think it means two things: They’re not completely confident, and they really want to get rid of me,” McCaskill said.

She strongly encouraged those who attended not only to vote but also to volunteer in the waning days of the campaign.

“We’ve got work to do before Tuesday,” McCaskill said. “I need you all to dig a little deeper — not with your money but with your time in the next four days.”

The emphasis in canvassing should be on the voters who are unlikely to vote in non-presidential elections, McCaskill said. She also expressed a need to turn down the heat of hyper-partisanship.

She urged the crowd to remain polite and listen to views that differ from their own. For her, this means working “across the aisle” with Republicans to find solutions that fit best for Missouri.

“It’s not about fighting the president every day. It’s about fighting for you every day,” McCaskill said.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

  • Fall 2018 public life reporter. I am a junior studying magazine journalism. Reach me at hrmy9b@mail.missouri.edu.


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