Missouri set to play bellwether role

June 19, 2008 at 10:37 AM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 19 (UPI) -- Missouri is set to play a pivotal role in the fall presidential election thanks to the state's history of picking electoral winners, political observers say.

Jim Anderson, president of the Area Chamber of Commerce in Springfield, Mo., said his state backed the winner of the general election 25 out of 26 times between 1904 and 2004, The Arizona Republic reported.

"Missouri has always been a bellwether state," Anderson said. "Truly, so goes Missouri, so goes the country. We always see a lot of the presidential candidates because of that."

Meanwhile, polls throughout the U.S. have indicated presumptive general election candidates U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., are nearly tied.

McCain campaigned at Missouri State University on Wednesday. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee used his appearance to attack Obama on energy policy, the Republic said.

Obama supporters in Missouri have maintained that the presumptive Democratic nominee will likely do well in the state due to the struggling economy and rising energy costs.

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