Tom Schweich Could Join GOP Challengers To Claire McCaskill In Missouri Senate Race

The lackluster crop of GOP candidates vying to challenge Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) is commonly thought to be keeping the vulnerable incumbent's re-election campaign afloat. Republicans are trying to remedy that by courting a fourth candidate, but McCaskill could be the one who reaps the benefit.

Republicans are urging state auditor Tom Schweich to run for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, joining Rep. Todd Akin, state Treasurer Sarah Steelman and businessman John Brummer. Schweich has filed paperwork, and said he's mulling it over.

In an open letter to Schweich, 18 Missouri Republican leaders wrote, "There are no other candidates vying for the Republican nomination that can match your unique experiences and talents," St. Louis Today reports.

McCaskill is considered vulnerable in the swing state, partly because of her close relationship with President Barack Obama. An early supporter of the president, she put some distance between herself and the administration by voting in favor of moving forward with the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which the president opposes.

A February poll showed the senator in a dead heat with all three potential GOP rivals, and her approval numbers are slipping. "McCaskill's saving grace is that her Republican opponents are neither well known nor well liked," reported Public Policy Polling.

"If we can't replace McCaskill in the Senate, it's hard to believe we can take back control of the majority," a GOP official told Roll Call.

10 more election stories from beyond the presidential field:

'Penthouse' Magazine Publisher Considering Running For Congress [Palm Beach Post]

Bob Kerrey And Harry Reid Talked Committee Spots, Seniority [Omaha World Herald]

Shelley Berkeley Calls For Rush Limbaugh's Firing, Stirs Controversy [RGJ.com]

Stars Rally For Elizabeth Warren [New York Times]

Eric Cantor Backs Adam Kinzinger Over Don Manzullo In Illinois Primary [The Hill]

Dennis Kucinich: Another Election 'Very Unlikely' [Washington Post]

Brown, Warren Raise Big Money In Mass. Senate Race [Daily Collegian]

NRC Ties Jim Matheson To Obama In New Ad [Roll Call]

State Sen. Larry Jent Drops Out Of Montana Governor's Race [Billings Gazette]

Big-Money Chamber Of Commerce To Impact Elections, Mostly For GOP [Kansas City Star]