THE HISTORY: Missouri has a long track record of voting for the winning presidential candidate. It's failed to do so just twice in the past century. In 1956, Missouri voters picked Democrat Adlai Stevenson over winning Republican President Dwight Eisenhower. In 2008, Missouri voters chose Republican John McCain instead of winning Democratic President Barack Obama.
THE CAMPAIGN: There hasn't been much of a presidential campaign in Missouri in 2012. Since winning their parties' nominations, neither Obama nor Republican challenger Mitt Romney has campaigned in the state. And neither has run TV ads specifically targeting Missouri.
THE STAKES: Missouri will have less sway than in other recent presidential elections. The state has 10 electoral votes. That's down from 11, because the most recent census determined that Missouri's population growth failed to keep up with that of some other states.