Fewer than 50,000 votes separated Democratic challenger Claire McCaskill and Republican incumbent Jim Talent in Missouri’s 2006 U.S. Senate race — a difference of only about a dozen votes from each precinct. McCaskill won.
Now McCaskill and Talent may be headed toward a role-reversal rematch in the 2012 elections. This time, McCaskill will be the incumbent. And Talent could be the challenger.
Although no one is officially a candidate yet, the 2012 political season already is quietly under way as potential candidates are calling around to prospective contributors and party stalwarts to gauge their support. The candidacy intrigue centers mainly on the Republican Party, because Democrats already have incumbents in the U.S. Senate, governor’s office and most other statewide offices up for re-election in Missouri.