The Tipping Point Races

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Republican Senator Jim Talent is running against Democrat Claire McCaskill in the state of Missouri.

Missouri: Jim Talent (R) v. Claire McCaskill (D)

After a bruising final spate of campaigning that included half a dozen debates, a major push by both parties to court women and rural voters, and ads by Michael J. Fox for McCaskill and a host of celebrities for Talent, the Missouri Senate race remains deadlocked. It has now become a test of the two parties Get Out The Vote operations, with the G.O.P. pouring volunteers into neighborhoods and drawing on the party's vaunted voter list, while the Dems scramble to mobilize urban voters in St. Louis and Kansas City. Democrats have to hope that two ballot initiatives — one for increasing the minimum wage, and another supporting stem cell research — will make up for the admitted advantage Republicans hold in targeting likely voters. Virtually every poll for the last six months has put the race in a dead heat, and in 2002, Talent won by all of 21,000 votes, so the final push will likely be the determining factor.

Winner: McCaskill

NEXT: Burns (R) v. Tester (D)