The CBS Evening News profiled the U.S. Senate race between Jim Talent and Claire McCaskill Tuesday night.
Here's the script from the broadcast:
COURIC: Election Day is just seven weeks from today and control of the House is up for grabs. The Senate may be as well. Both, of course, are now controlled by the Republicans. So how will this election turn out? National political correspondent Gloria Borger went to a bellwether state for tonight`s "Eye on Politics."
GLORIA BORGER, CBS CORRESPONDENT: This champion ham fetched a fat 10 grand for the 4-H Club at the Missouri State Fair. But the glad handers outside the tent were more interested in politics than pork.
CLAIRE MCCASKILL, CANDIDATE FOR U.S. SENATE (D), MISSOURI: Good morning, guys.
BORGER: The Missouri Senate race is a dead heat brawl, while the Democratic challenger Claire McCaskill calls for change in Washington ...
MCCASKILL: I think everybody`s had enough, don`t you think?
SEN. JIM TALENT, (R), MISSOURI: Good to see you ...
BORGER: The Republican incumbent Jim Talent declares his independence from Washington.
TALENT: I`m an agent of change and I always have run that way.
BORGER: With control of the Senate hanging by just six seats, both parties call this a must win, and the themes playing here are being rerun in tight races all across the country.
Missouri voters have a history of reflecting the national mood, and right now President Bush is unpopular here. That`s why running as a Republican incumbent requires some distance from the president.
On the Iraq war in particular.
(on camera): Now, you said the administration has made some mistakes.
TALENT: Oh yes.
BORGER: ... in what areas and where?
TALENT: They underestimated how difficult it would be to pacify the central part of the country. I mean, they clearly thought we could get in and out quickly.
BORGER (voice over): Try as he might to run as his own man, Jim Talent is tied to President Bush by his Democratic opponent at every opportunity.
MCCASKILL: Well, he agrees with President Bush more than I agree with my husband.
BORGER: Missouri may be a red, or Republican, state. But Democrats believe the key issues are now turning blue, and it`s not just about the war. In this state, it`s also about local issues like an increase in the minimum wage and support for stem cell research. Both statewide ballot initiatives the Democrats hope will bring out their voters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The stem cell initiative will prevent any unfair bans.
LINDSAYH MCCARROLL, VOTER: I`m really excited about what you`re doing.
BORGER: Missouri Democrats are targeting voters like Lindsay McCarroll, a Republican who thinks her party has lost touch.
MCCARROLL: I don`t think they`re listening to the people, I don`t think they`re doing what the people want. So I`m going to vote for someone else this time.
BORGER: In any other year, Jim Talent might have been considered a sure thing, but this election environment is tough for Republican incumbents.
TALENT: 2004 was a better year, there`s no question.
BORGER: So Talent wants to make this personal.
TALENT: When they get to know you, they tend to vote based on what they know rather than on a national perspective. And this is why people in both parties win elections even when the national climate isn`t so good.
BORGER: Voters in the Show-Me State have an uncanny knack for predicting winners. They picked all the presidents since 1960, and now they could determine who wins the Senate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sold straight out there, $10,000.
BORGER: Gloria Borger, CBS News, Sedalia, Missouri.