Bringing Pres. Obama
to St. Louis would also help McCaskill among African American voters -- an important part of her 2006 coalition. That year, African Americans comprised only 13 percent of the electorate but they broke almost entirely for McCaskill; 91 percent of them voted for the Democrat, according to exit polling
The flip side of bringing Obama to St. Louis is recent polling has shown him to be very unpopular in Missouri. Obama's job approval in the state is, at best, in the low 40s
. And let's not forget that Obama has never been particularly popular in the Show Me State -- he lost it narrowly to John McCain
(R) in 2008, one of the few swing states that the president lost.
And it's likely that her Republican challenger -- so far, only former Treasurer is in the race but Talent may also run -- will try to nationalize the race, tying her positions to President Obama's. That was certainly part of Blunt's strategy last year and he used it masterfully. And Steelman is already running on broad national themes.
If Obama's numbers remain where they are, having the convention in St. Louis would put McCaskill in a bind. McCaskill will likely look to localize the race -- she has already broken with the national Democratic orthodoxy on the individual mandate in health care reform. Bringing Obama in, of course, works against that goal. She'll also likely face questions about whether she'll appear on the convention stage with him.