In an email sent to supporters on Sunday, vulnerable Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill sought donations to her re-election campaign by pitting herself against the president.
Missouri voters overwhelmingly favored Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton last November, handing Trump a 57 percent to 38 percent win in this erstwhile swing state. Nevertheless, McCaskill, who plays lip service to the virtues of bipartisanship, assured supporters she's "fighting back" against Trump's "dangerous ideas."
The fundraising email sent Sunday linked to a survey in which McCaskill's campaign asked respondents to answer questions such as, "Is it important to you that your representatives work across the aisle for bipartisan solutions?" and "Do you want your representatives to hold the government accountable for fraud and waste?"
At the end of the survey, McCaskill asked for a donation, boasting to supporters, "I'm fighting back against Donald Trump's dangerous ideas in the Senate. ... Will you donate today?"
Fundraising emails, of course, often strike a different tone than public statements, seeking to convey urgency to potential donors. But hardline rhetoric against a president who won her state by almost 20 points just seven months ago, seeking the support of Missourians who elected Trump while simultaneously demonizing the man for whom they voted, seems like a risk.
Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly, another vulnerable Trump country Democrat, sent a similar fundraising email last week, telling supporters that he's "fighting back against Trump's extreme agenda." The president's margin of victory in Indiana was almost 20 points as well.
On Monday the Washington Examiner reported that GOP Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., who was widely anticipated to challenge McCaskill, announced she was running for re-election in the House of Representatives instead.
Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.