Join Riverfront Times Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Ann Wagner's Race Is Officially Tilting Democratic, Report Says

Posted By on Thu, Feb 8, 2018 at 2:43 PM

Could Ann Wagner's days be numbered? - FLICKR/GAGE SKIDMORE

Republicans may be fantasizing about recruiting U.S. Representative Ann Wagner (R-St. Louis) to take on Senator Claire McCaskill — but Wagner may be happy just to hold onto her seat. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report suggests her race isn't just in play, but that it's actually leaning toward her Democratic challenger.

As the beltway analysts suggest in their February report, a variety of factors that could make Wagner's reelection race hard, even beyond any shortcomings as a candidate (more on that in a minute). Namely, Republicans nationwide are being dragged down by the unpopular president — even as Wagner faces an aggressive, well-funded opponent.



As the Cook Political Report notes, "[M]ost new district-by-district fundraising and polling numbers are downright terrible for Republicans, even in seats previously thought to be safe. In the fourth quarter of 2017, 39 Republican House incumbents were outraised by at least one Democratic challenger, and private polls and special election results suggest Democrats are highly competitive even in some districts President Trump won by wide margins."

That trend showed itself earlier this week, when a Democrat finally managed to take a statehouse seat in a special election — Mike Revis beat the Republican in the 97th House district, which Trump had won barely more than a year ago by nearly 30 points.

The 97th, it's worth noting, covers Jefferson County. And that means it's supposedly one of the more Republican-leaning parts of Ann Wagner territory.

The frontrunner to take on Wagner for the Democrats, Cort VanOstran, surely smells blood in the water — as do his donors.

“When [Ann] Wagner announced she would forgo a Senate bid and run for reelection, most considered her a lock," the Cook report notes. "But young Democratic attorney Cort VanOstran has surprised some by raising $334,000. Wagner will have access to all the money she needs, but this suburban seat is the only in Missouri that didn't migrate to Trump in 2016, and Sen. Claire McCaskill may need to carry it to win reelection.”

Let's also remember that Wagner has been blowing off her constituents and cackling with glee while cutting healthcare. These things may play just fine at a Koch Brothers cocktail party, but we imagine they're none too popular in Jefferson County.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at sarah.fenske@riverfronttimes.com

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 29, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2020 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation