McCaskill loss in Missouri illustrates urban-rural divide

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., speaks to students and supporters at the University of Missouri - St. Louis Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, in St. Louis. McCaskill is running for re-election. McCaskill faces a double challenge as she campaigns for re-election in heavily Republican Missouri for a seat that could determine which party controls the Senate.(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Rural voters in Missouri were crucial in Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill's loss to Attorney General Josh Hawley.

McCaskill first won election to the Senate in 2006 in part by cutting into Republican margins in rural areas and small towns.

This year, she tried again to appeal to rural Republican voters and independents, holding 50 town halls mostly in rural areas. She noted that she voted with Trump nearly half the time in the Senate. Speaking on Fox News, she decried "crazy Democrats."

But it didn't pay off for her.

An Associated Press analysis shows McCaskill lost ground in every rural county compared to when she first ran in 2006.

According to the American electorate survey AP VoteCast, rural and small town voters favored Republican Hawley 66 percent to 31 percent.

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