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Larger Voter Turnout Expected

The Missouri Secretary of State announced today that 72 percent of the state’s registered voters are expected to turn out for next week’s election.The turnout is expected to be higher than that of the 2008 election, when 69 percent of registered voters headed to the poll.Political experts expect undecided voters will decide the winner of Missouri’s Senate race between Sen. Claire McCaskill and Rep. Todd Akin. The latest polls show eight percent of voters still do not know who will they vote for. Currently, one poll has McCaskill leading Akin 45 percent to 43 percent.Political experts say when it comes to undecided voters, that means the race has some real competition, but that doesn’t necessarily mean good competition.”So you’ve got candidates who are fairly evenly matched, either because they’re both very good, or possibly, because in the case of Missouri, they’re both not so good,” said University of Missouri political science professor Marvin Overby. “They both have real liabilities.”Overby says Akin’s liabilities are his own fault, referring to his statements about rape and women. For McCaskill, Overby says it’s difficult for a Democrat to win in a state where the Democratic presidential candidate will likely lose.Right now, McCaskill leads Akin 53 percent to 35 percent with young voters aged 18 to 34. At the same time, Akin leads 42 to 36 percent with independents who have already made up their minds.Overby says when it comes to making up the difference, McCaskill’s advantage will be her monetary resources.”She’s got a huge monetary advantage,” said Overby. “She’s just clobbering Akin on the airwaves. She’s just got much, much more money to spend. But having said that, Akin has proven he can run a competitive campaign without having a lot of money.”In the next seven days, experts anticipate Missourians will see Akin spending every available dollar to make up for losses. McCaskill will spend the week trying to limit her losses in rural parts of the state.As the candidates continue to rally voters, Akin is relying on Republican backers like Newt Gingrich to help fuel his campaign.Meanwhile, McCaskill is staying off the campaign trail after the death of her mother Monday evening. Her campaign says she has no events scheduled.

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