FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Could the Missouri Carnahan dynasty be at an end?
It’s been a good week to be a Republican in Missouri. Senator-elect Roy Blunt soundly defeated MO Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, beating her by 13 percentage points statewide, and winning every county in Missouri except St. Louis (city and county) and Jackson (Kansas City). Republican candidates scored wins in most parts of the state except the Democrat strongholds mentioned above, where incumbents such as Congressmen Emanuel Cleaver and Lacy Clay won easily. Even long-time Congressman Ike Skelton finally fell in deep-red west-central Missouri.
The one race that did not go the GOP’s way was MO-3, where Robin Carnahan’s brother Russ won a very close race against GOP challenger Ed Martin. Martin lost by just around 4500 votes…and the Constitution and Libertarian party candidates pulled approximately 8800 votes combined. Unfortunate (and while I’m tempted to go off on the possibility that 3rd parties were at least partially behind this GOP loss, I’ll leave that argument for another day)
But will Russ keep his seat?
In the 2010 census, Missouri may have had a big enough population decline (or poor response, at least) to lose a Congressional seat. Results will not be released until the end of December. However, strategizing has already begun to determine which seat might be lost. The GOP dominates the Missouri legislature, but Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is a Democrat – and can veto any redistricting plans he doesn’t like. So what does that have to do with Russ Carnahan?
Carnahan’s seat appears to be one of the most vulnerable to loss in redistricting. Other MO congressional districts are solid GOP or solid Democrat. Carnahan’s may well be the only one “on the bubble.” Elimination of Carnahan’s seat could give his precincts to Lacy Clay on the north side of the district, and to GOP Rep. Jo Ann Emerson on the south. The other seat that could be up for grabs is that of newly-elected District 4 Rep-elect Vicki Hartzler, who defeated Skelton. But it would seem unlikely that the Republican legislature would throw Hartzler under the bus so soon, which could leave Russ Carnahan holding the short straw.
It would be a happy day here in Missouri Republican-land if the last standing Carnahan were to bite the political dust. We’ve had to endure a long line of Carnahans, starting with Robin’s grandfather A.J.C. Carnahan, who was the father of the late Mel Carnahan, the former MO Governor who died in a plane crash while campaigning for Senate in 2000. Mel’s wife Jean took his place after Missourians elected the already-deceased Mel. Later, Robin and Russ also entered politics and leave us where we are today. (Oh, and we have Tom Carnahan, wind farmer and Obama “stimulus” money recipient). With the possible elimination of Russ via redistricting and the eventual end of Robin’s term as SoS, it appears that political life of this Democrat dynasty may be drawing to a close.
Yes, it’s a glorious time here in GOP Red Missouri. We’re thankful that Roy Blunt threw a perfect game, campaign-wise, and is now causing Missouri leftists to throw tantrums like this one. Let’s hope we can piss them off even more when Russ is sent packing.