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McCaskill touts centrist Senate ranking

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In her quest to convince Missouri voters she’s moderate enough for them, Sen. Claire McCaskill is highlighting a ranking of senators that placed her smack dab in the ideological center.

In its 2011 rankings of senators based on their votes, National Journal rated Mrs. McCaskill 50th on the scale of liberal to conservative, far to the right of most of her Democratic colleagues.

“I’ve never been so proud to be ranked 50th,” she says in a new television ad for her re-election campaign. “All senators are ranked one to 100, liberal to conservative. You’re lookin’ at Number 50. How did I get there? Missouri-style independence.”

The publication ranked just two other Democrats — Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor and Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson — as more conservative than Mrs. McCaskill, who is defending her seat against Rep. Todd Akin. While Mr. Akin’s rape comments jeopardized his campaign last month, Democrats have made it clear that they aren’t taking a win for granted.

“Right in the middle is right for Missouri,” Mrs. McCaskill says, looking directly at the camera, “Number 50.”

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