KIRKWOOD, Mo. (KMOX) – As he got ready to step into the voting booth Tuesday morning, the future of the U.S. economy was top-of-mind for Scott Field of Kirkwood.
“There’s still a huge amount of unneccessary spending in Washington and we’re building a huge legacy of debt,” Field said. “A one-and-a-quarter percent boost in the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in the the last quarter? It’s sickly.”
Roughly one-in-four eligible voters in Missouri were expected to join Field at the polls, about average for a statewide primary election.
One of the main issues that got Winnie Doctor down to her polling place at Kirkwood High School was the constitutional amendment that would allow Missourians to pray in public, if they don’t disturb the peace.
“I am for religious freedom and I’m glad that we got to vote on it,” she explained.
Other issues and races drawing early birds to the polls included:
* A Republican primary to sift out a winner from the vast throng hoping to advance to a November showdown with Democratic incumbant Claire McCaskill for U.S. Senate. The field includes Todd Akin, Jerry Beck, Sarah Steelman, John Brunner, Mark Memoly, Mark Patrick Lodes, Robert (Bob) Poole, and Hector Maldonado
* An unusual battle of incumbants between sitting Congressman for a single seat in Missouri’s 1st Congressional District, redrawn after the 2010 census. After his 2nd District evaporated, Russ Carnahan decided to go up against former friend and legislative ally William Lacy Clay, with today’s winner virtually guaranteed to go on to victory in November.
* Missouri Governor, with incumbant Democrat Jay Nixon expected to advance to November’s general election against a GOP primary ptting four candidates against each other…John Weiler, Dave Spence, Bill Randles and Fred Sauer. Likewise a crowded race for Lieutenant Governor.
Many voters had high hopes for the future as they arrived at the polls, but others were motivated by fear.
“I’ve never been so worried about an election before,” admitted Joanne Aldridge. “I’m really concerned about (President Barack) Obama getting four more years because I don’t think there’s any stopping him then.”
But as she arrived at Kirkwood High to cast her ballot (“Of course I’m going to get a Democratic ballot…I’m a Democrat!”), Senator Claire McCaskill talked about why she feels President Obama should be elected to a second four-year term.
“I think President Obama’s much more focused on the middle class than (GOP hopeful) Mitt Romney has been,” said McCaskill. “That’s not just class warfare…that’s just fair.”
Her other thoughts on Romney?
“What Mitt Romney wants to do is take us back to the exact same policies that got us in this mess in the first place,” McCaskill opined. “Doing everything he possibly can to protect the tax rates for the very wealthy, to make sure that the oil companies continue to get big payouts from the American taxpayer.”
Polls stay open until 7 pm Tuesday.
Stay with KMOX News and www.kmox.com throughout the evening for election results and analysis.