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Race Ratings: Missouri Unlikely to Feature Pitched Battles

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Freshman Rep. Billy Long’s 7th district remains nearly identical to its current version.

Hartzler knocked off longtime Rep. Ike Skelton (D) in 2010 and will face a slightly more liberal district with the addition of the city of Columbia, home to the University of Missouri. Boone County, where Columbia is located, went 55 percent for Barack Obama in 2008. That said, until a serious Democratic contender emerges, the district looks likely to remain in GOP hands.

5th District
Incumbent: Emanuel Cleaver (D)
4th term (53 percent)
Rating: Safe Democratic

Cleaver is chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, and barring an extraordinary event, he should handily win re-election in this substantially African-American district. The 5th includes Kansas City and the surrounding area.

6th District
Incumbent: Sam Graves (R)
6th term (69 percent)
Rating: Safe Republican

The 6th district includes all of northern Missouri. This district previously encompassed just the northwestern part of the state, and through redistricting it gained a swath of the current 9th district. The new 6th will run all the way across the Missouri border with Iowa. Graves beat his Democratic challenger by 39 percent here in 2010. In a stronger year for Democrats in 2008, Graves beat former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes (D) by 23 percent. Graves looks safe to comfortably cruise to a seventh term.

7th District
Incumbent: Billy Long (R)
1st term (63 percent)
Rating: Safe Republican

This staunchly Republican district in southwest Missouri ó almost identical to the current 7th district, isnít going to switch parties any time soon. Long replaced then-Rep. Roy Blunt (R), who was elected to the Senate.

8th District
Incumbent: Jo Ann Emerson (R)
9th term (66 percent)
Rating: Safe Republican

Emerson, a member of the Appropriations Committee, is expected to win re-election in a district quite similar to the one she currently represents. Her Democratic opponent in 2010, Army veteran Tommy Sowers, only picked up 29 percent of the vote. Emerson was considered a top-tier contender to run statewide against McCaskill, but opted against taking on the first-term Senator.

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