Missouri's contest for the U.S. Senate between Democrat Jason Kander and Republican Roy Blunt is getting more national attention - and money.
Washington is abuzz about Kander's new TV ad, which shows him assembling an assault weapon blindfolded. Aside from being creative, the ad also highlights the key roles of guns and the military in both campaigns.
Outside groups are running attack ads the claim Blunt hasn't done enough for veterans, while the NRA is accusing Kander of being soft on gun rights.
Dave Robertson, head of the political science department at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, said there are strategic reasons why candidates are focusing more on their military service and support for veterans.
"The military experience meshes well with the fact that Americans, looking at the polls, have lost a lot of faith in almost all their institutions. But their faith in the military has grown," Robertson said.
Just this month, outside groups and party organizations have poured more than $4 million dollars into Missouri to help Kander or Blunt. More is expected soon.