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Missouri Senate race moves to "Lean Republican"

For the better part of the last year, national Democrats have insisted that Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan represented one of their best chances to turn over a Republican seat.

On paper, Carnahan had it all: a terrific family name (her father was governor, her mother a U.S. Senator, her brother a member of the U.S. House), strong fundraising abilities and a centrist profile that plays well in the Show Me State.

And, her opponent, Rep. Roy Blunt (R) had obvious problems as a former member of House Republican leadership and with family ties to the lobbying industry.

But, campaigns aren't fought on paper -- except in the Fix's fantasy politics game (coming soon!) -- and the political reality of a year in which the playing field is clearly tilted toward Republicans has made the Missouri Senate contest increasingly uphill for Carnahan.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee canceled its ad buy for the final week in the state earlier this week -- a sign, many observers suggested, that the race was slipping away. (Worth noting: The DSCC reserved the right to buy back time, a decision that will be made tomorrow.)

Missouri is always tough sledding for Democrats -- it was the only one of more than a dozen highly targeted states in the 2008 presidential race that John McCain won -- and the Republican tide nationally appears to have exacerbated the party's problems.

Polling shows Blunt with a high single-digit edge and given the unpopularity of President Barack Obama and the Democratic brand more broadly, it's hard to see how Carnahan comes back.

The race moves from "Toss Up" to "Lean Republican".

Stay tuned later today for several governor's race ratings changes. And make sure to check out our 2010 campaigns maps -- the best in the business!

By Chris Cillizza  | October 14, 2010; 10:57 AM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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