McCaskill Battles Charges That She Is a Stranger in Her Own State

“The worst is the lies, the factual inaccuracies about my husband’s business and my activity in the Senate,” she said in an interview on her R.V. following a Labor Day picnic in Springfield. “It’s very clear that I’ve done nothing in the Senate to help my husband’s business. That money doesn’t go to him.”

Also under attack are Ms. McCaskill’s $2.7 million condo, cited as a symbol of Washington excess, and her use of a private plane. A Republican-sponsored Twitter account, @AirClairMO, depicts Ms. McCaskill’s R.V. being directed around various Missouri campaign stops by a faux airline ground crew. It’s an effort to poke fun at Ms. McCaskill’s decision in May to fly instead of drive on a portion of a three-day R.V. tour of the state.

Acknowledging that she’s in a tough election fight, Ms. McCaskill said: ”I’m in a hard state. I worry about all of it. I worry about everything because everything has to go well in a race like this.”

In a tweet last week, she called the campaign a “pressure cooker,” and included a photo of a low-calorie salad.

“And yes I eat too much under pressure (in case you haven’t noticed I’m overweight), so tonight when I got home I whipped up a healthy noodle salad,” the tweet said.

Ms. McCaskill nevertheless says she senses an emotional energy in the electorate.

She’s loath to call it a blue wave, but this year reminds her of 2006, she says, when Democrats took control of both the Senate and House. Volunteers are up — many of them women who show up at rallies wearing #TeamClaire stickers. Small individual contributions are up. Crowds are bigger.

“People are tired of cussing the TV and want to do something,” Ms. McCaskill said.

In past elections, she has been able to pick off rural and Republican votes with her image as a common-sense Missourian, tough on law and order as a county prosecutor and tough on public expenditures as state auditor. She has frequently invoked the populist Missourian Harry S. Truman and emphasized her moderate voting record and her small-town Missouri roots, endearing herself to Missourians with brash talk, sometimes off message — once telling Tim Russert that she didn’t want her daughters around Bill Clinton.

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