Jo Ann Emerson’s decision to stay in the House is not really stunning news, and is one of those cases where the NRCC would feel confident about keeping the seat (it’s an R+15 district). But the mild upside of a less crowded primary is that it may be a bit less likely to turn into a demolition derby:
“I gave the matter a significant amount of consideration, talked it over with my family, and consulted with my trusted advisers and staff,” Emerson, R-Cape Girardeau, said in a statement, according to media reports. “We talked about what I can do as a junior member of the Senate and what I can do as a senior member of the U.S. House, and I decided the best possible way to serve southern Missouri — as well as the entire state — is from my current post.“
Emerson represents the 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she is chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government.
Two other Republicans, Missouri State Treasurer Sarah Steelman and Ed Martin, a St. Louis attorney and former chief of staff to Gov. Matt Blunt, plan to run against Democratic incumbent, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill. Ann Wagner, former Missouri Republican Party chair and ambassador to Luxembourg under President George W. Bush, said she’s considering running for Senate after losing her bid to become the new Republican National Committee chairman last month.
Conservatives may have mixed feelings about a Senate without Emerson; her lifetime ACU rating is 81.23, but dipped as low as 56 in 2008 and 60 in 2007.
Also note that with Emerson, Rep. Sam Graves, and former senator Jim Talent all turning down bids, McCaskill may look a little tougher to beat than the conventional wisdom would suggest . . .