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Talent, McCaskill in final stretch


St. Louis, MO – The fall campaign is entering its last week, and in Missouri the two candidates for U.S. Senate continue to fight for votes in what's still a close race.

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow will be in St. Louis tonight (Monday) to headline an event for U.S. Senator Jim Talent. Talent's challenger, Democrat Claire McCaskill, will board a decked-out RV in St. Louis tomorrow (Tue.) and drive across the state.

Newspaper endorsements continue to come in, as well.

Talent now has the nod from the Springfield News-Leader, the Jefferson City News-Tribune and St. Joseph News-Press.

The Kansas City Star, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Columbia Daily Tribune have all endorsed McCaskill.

The Springfield paper said both candidates are qualified, but Talent's experience in the Senate made him the more attractive choice: "Ultimately, we find both candidates to be moderate voices, but Talent has proven his ability to work with Democrats on key issues in his four years in the office."

The Kansas City Star took the opposite view, saying Talent should be voted out of office as part of a changing of the guard in Washington: "Claire McCaskill, currently the Missouri auditor, seems far more interested than her opponent in bringing fundamental change to Washington. Such change is essential."

Meanwhile, in Illinois, a new poll from the Post-Dispatch shows Governor Rod Blagojevich with a nine point lead over Republican Judy Baar Topinka.