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Missouri gubernatorial election, 2004

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Title: Missouri gubernatorial election, 2004  
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Subject: United States Senate election in Missouri, 2004, United States gubernatorial elections, 2004, Elections in Missouri, Missouri Lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2004, United States elections, 2004
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Missouri gubernatorial election, 2004

Missouri gubernatorial election, 2004

November 2, 2004

Nominee Matt Blunt Claire McCaskill
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,382,419 1,301,442
Percentage 50.83 47.85

County Results

Governor before election

Bob Holden

Elected Governor

Matt Blunt

The 2004 Missouri gubernatorial election took place on 2 November 2004 for the post of Governor of Missouri. Missouri Secretary of State Republican Matt Blunt defeated State Auditor Democrat Claire McCaskill. This gave the Republican party control of both the Governorship and the Missouri General Assembly for the first time in 80 years.[1]

McCaskill had earlier defeated incumbent Governor Bob Holden in the Democratic primary. This was the first time a sitting Governor of Missouri had been defeated in a primary and the first time any US governor had lost in a primary since 1994.[2]

Republican primary


Missouri Secretary of State Matt Blunt had token opposition. He easily defeated several lesser known opponents in the Republican primary.


Republican primary results[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Matt Blunt 534,393 68.28
Republican Karen Skelton-Memhardt 126,089 20.85
Republican Jen Sievers 18,733 3.10
Republican Jeff Killian 10,423 1.72
Republican Roy W. Lang 8,750 1.45
Republican Martin Lindstedt 6,369 1.05
Total votes 604,757 100

Democratic primary


Bob Holden had a difficult term as Missouri governor, starting at his inauguration on January 8, 2001, which cost $1 million, and which he struggled to pay for. The state economy suffered a downturn forcing him to make budget cuts and the Republican party gained control of the State Senate for the first time in 50 years.[4] Holden was nicknamed by his opponents as "One Term Bob".[5]

Holden announced that he would run for re-election in March 2003, blaming the Republican party for many of the problems during his term as governor.[6] However, Holden was challenged by State Auditor Claire McCaskill for the Democratic nomination, who said that she would be a stronger candidate in the General election against Blunt.[4]

McCaskill attacked Holden for delays in education funding, the state's deteriorating roads and increases in tuition fees at Missouri's universities. Holden sought to defend his term in office and attacked McCaskill for the people she accepted campaign contributions from. McCaskill picked up most newspaper endorsements during the primary and won the primary on 3 August against Holden.[7]


Democratic primary results[8]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Claire McCaskill 437,780 51.64
Democratic Bob Holden (Incumbent) 383,734 45.27
Democratic Jim LePage 16,761 1.98
Democratic Jeffery A. Emrick 9,473 1.12
Total votes 847,748 100

General election


After the primaries finished Holden and McCaskill met to unite the Democratic party for the general election for what was always seen as being a close race against Blunt.[9][10]

The first of two debates between Blunt and McCaskill was held on 18 October where McCaskill compared her experience to Blunt's inexperience; while Blunt said that McCaskill would not support the John Kerry due to Bush's lead in Missouri.[12]

In the end Blunt narrowly defeated McCaskill with surveys showing his conservative stance on social issues and the strong showing of President Bush in Missouri helped him to victory.[13] Blunt obtained strong leads in the rural parts of the state which was sufficient to overcome McCaskill's leads in St. Louis and Jackson County. Blunt thus became Missouri's second youngest governor.[2]


Missouri gubernatorial election, 2004[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Matt Blunt 1,382,419 50.83% +2.63%
Democratic Claire McCaskill 1,301,442 47.85% -1.27%
Libertarian John Swenson 24,378 0.90% +0.42%
Constitution Robert Wells 11,299 0.42% +0.28%
Majority 80,977 2.98% +2.06%
Turnout 2,719,538 64.8 +4.0
Republican gain from Democratic Swing


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See also

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