Breaking Down The Senatorial Debate

Related Story

COLUMBIA - It was all about Cardinals, Donkeys and Elephants, a zoo in Missouri news Friday morning. America's pastime trumped politics last night in St. Louis. As the Redbirds pulled out a "W", 2 Missouri lawmakers turned up the heat.

KOMU Reported live from Missouri's second senate debate where Congressman Todd Akin took on Senator Claire McCaskill. As a part of Smart Decision 2012, KOMU has team coverage on each candidate's performance.

One of Representative Akin's big talking points was health care and linking Senator McCaskill to supporting the President's health care initiative, which is unpopular in Missouri.Akin emphasized Senator McCaskill voted to cut $716 Billion through the President's health care initiative.

Another strategy Akin took in this debate was pairing McCaskill with President Obama.
He said McCaskill was one of Obama's earliest supporters in 2008 and tied her to Obama's policies not just on health care, but also on government spending and the federal deficit.
Akin said that McCaskill has voted with the President 98 percent of the time.

Before the debate came to a close, each candidate was given the opportunity to clarify any misconceptions about themselves. Surprisingly, Congressman Akin did not take that time to mention his controversial comment about "legitimate rape".

Senator Claire McCaskill came into the race with the incumbency advantage,and she took advantage by making a strong appeal to women.McCaskill unveiled a brand new attack last night saying that as a boss, Akin knowingly pays women less than men.It was the first time McCaskill's camp made the accusation saying Akin's female staff makes 23.4 percent less than males in the office.

McCaskill's main goal was to appear moderate and the senator tried to distance herself from Obama. Although McCaskill voted in favor of Obama's Health Care Plan despite its unpopularity in Missouri, she said Akin's proposal to turn Medicare into a voucher program is not right for Missouri either.

McCaskill also attacked Akin's opposition to minimum wage and federal involvement in low-cost student loans saying both are necessary. She then cited crossing party lines to support the ban of earmarks in the Senate, a move McCaskill said Akin would not for Missourians.

Overall, McCaskill said the voters need to know this is an election between a moderate and an extreme conservative.