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Missouri lost a seat in reapportionment but it’s the Democrats who will suffer thanks to the new district lines. The Show-Me State is likely to send six Republican Members back to Washington after the 2012 elections. Two districts with large African-American populations, the 1st and 5th, appear likely to remain safely Democratic. The new 2nd district could be more competitive, as Rep. Todd Akin (R) is running for Senate against first-term Sen. Claire McCaskill (D). With the Senate battle and Gov. Jay Nixon’s (D) re-election race on the ballot in 2012, Missouri will reprise its role as a battleground with national implications.
Incumbent: William Lacy Clay (D)
6th term (74 percent)
Rating: Safe Democratic
Though there is some discontent with Clay, he is likely to be re-elected in the district, which is 49.5 percent black and includes all of St. Louis. Rep. Russ Carnahan (D) was moved into Clay’s district on the new map, and he has not yet made up his mind about whether he will challenge Clay in a primary or opt to run elsewhere. Either way, Democrats make up the majority of the district’s voters and the seat is safe for the party.
Open seat: Todd Akin (R) is running for Senate
Rating: Leans Republican
This district includes the suburban and exurban areas outside of St. Louis that trend Republican. Carnahan would face an uphill battle in this district, if he decided to run here instead of against Clay or for statewide office. The two declared Republican candidates are attorney Ed Martin, who was chief of staff to former Gov. Matt Blunt (R), and former ambassador to Luxembourg Ann Wagner. Martin has positioned himself as the tea party candidate. Wagner, who served as co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, likely has more institutional backing. State Sen. Jane Cunningham told Roll Call she is “seriously considering” entering the GOP primary race. Democratic candidates in the 2nd are likely waiting on Carnahan’s decision.
Incumbent: Blaine Luetkemeyer (R)
2nd term (77 percent)
Rating: Safe Republican
Luetkemeyer currently represents the 9th district, which covers most of the territory that will become the new 3rd district. He will lose some counties in northeastern Missouri to the 6th district, but will gain Cole County — home to the state’s capital, Jefferson City. Cole County went 62 percent for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008. Luetkemeyer will likely glide to a third term.
Incumbent: Vicky Hartzler (R)
1st term (50 percent)
Rating: Likely Republican