Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, written off just months ago as a likely loser in her Missouri re-election race, has won a trip back to Washington - and she has 50- to 64-year-old voters, the state's biggest voter group by age, in part to thank for it.
McCaskill, who was dragging in polls early this summer, was expected to lose the seat to a Republican. But when GOP nominee Todd Akin made controversial comments about abortion and rape victims, McCaskill's numbers began to climb. In the end, according to exit polls, she took 49 percent of the votes cast by 50- to 64-year-olds - an age group that accounts for 29 percent of the electorate in the Show-Me State. Akin handily beat McCaskill among voters 65 and older, 56-40 percent, but that group makes up just 16 percent of the state's electorate.
Also in Missouri, Republican Mitt Romney bested President Obama in both older-voter groups: 55-41 percent among 50- to 64-year-olds and a lopsided 66-33 percent among 65+ voters.
The economy was the single most important issue to Missouri voters, according to exit polls. But among the 21 percent who called health care the most important issue, McCaskill overwhelmingly did better, winning 73 percent of those voters, compared with 23 percent who cast ballots for Akin.