Former President Barack Obama endorses Nicole Galloway for Missouri governor

Austin Huguelet
Lake Sun Leader

Former President Barack Obama endorsed State Auditor Nicole Galloway’s bid for governor Friday as part of his “second wave” of elections recommendations this year.

Ina tweetnaming Galloway and more than 100 other Democrats running at the state and federal levels, Obama said they would "work to get the virus under control, rebuild the economy and the middle class, and protect Americans’ health care and preexisting conditions protections.”

"Support these candidates," he urged, "and vote early if you can."

Galloway is attempting to unseat Republican Gov. Mike Parson this fall and running a campaign emphasizing much of what Obama said.

She's pledged toimplement a statewide mask mandateexperts say couldslow the spread of COVID-19 andcalled for a state law to backstop federal protections for people with pre-existing conditions in case Republicans succeed in invalidating the Affordable Care Act, Obama's signature legislative achievement.

Galloway touted the endorsement in a statement shortly after it came out.

“From protecting Missourians with pre-existing conditions to tackling COVID-19, President Barack Obama knows the stakes of this election couldn’t be higher,” she said. “Every day our campaign is growing and I’m proud to have earned President Obama’s endorsement in this race.”

Gallowayreceived a similar endorsementfrom former Vice President Joe Biden earlier this month as the race entered the home stretch.

Parson, for his part,picked up President Donald Trump’s endorsement last September.

It’s not entirely clear how much weight Missouri voters will give the endorsements.

Obama narrowly lost the state in 2008 but wasn’t competitive here in his bid for a second term in 2012.

And while virtually every recent poll suggests the majority of Missouri votes this year will go to Trump rather than Biden, Trump’s influence may not be what it has been previously.

Trump's approval ratings in the state have been cut in half since he took office, and a FiveThirtyEight average of recent polling suggests he’ll win the state by 6.6 points, well below his 18.6-point margin four years ago.