ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Numerous polls that show a dead heat in the race for the White House are raising the spectre of what happened in Florida during the 2000 election.

With memories of “hanging chad” in mind, University of Missouri-St. Louis political science professor Dave Robertson says it’s not surprising to hear reports that the Obama and Romney camps are, in effect, “lawyering up” in case this contentious race has to be decided in the courts and not at the ballot box.

“There’s already controversies about early voting and poll watching in states like Florida so there’s going to be a lot of concern that lawyers on the ground are ready to challenge any decision that goes against one party or another.”

The campaigns for both White House contenders have been working behind the scenes for months assembling teams of volunteer lawyers to keep a close eye on Election Day activities.

Meanwhile, Robertson says the role of the Show-Me State has continued to evolve.

“We had a reputation as being a bellweather state that would vote for the winner of presidential elections but, since the beginning of the 21st century, the Republican Party has made gains in the state.”

Robertson says you may have noticed that the White House combatants spent little if any time campaigning in Missouri in the weeks running up to today’s election, as they concentrate their efforts on battleground states like Ohio, North Carolina and Florida.


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