Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) has done little to win over African-American voters during her reelection campaign, according to a former St. Louis alderman who spoke to MSNBC on Thursday.
Antonio French, who now writes for the Northsider, a St. Louis publication, joined MSNBC's Katy Tur on Thursday and said McCaskill has failed to be "an advocate" for issues important to the state's African-American community.
"For Democrats, the challenge is running in red or purple states and moving towards the middle, or even right of the middle," French said. "We're seeing McCaskill do that, as she usually does every election time."
"That does not fire up your African-American base, you don't hear her talking about African-American issues, you don't see her being an advocate for our issues specifically."
French said he plans to vote for McCaskill as more of a vote against Republicans than a vote for her and said he thinks those who are politically engaged will do the same. He said that others in the community, however, "don't feel very strongly about voting" for her.
"Those of us who regularly vote, we're probably going to vote for Claire McCaskill," French said. "But a lot of people don't feel very strongly about voting for Claire."
"We want to hear her advocating strongly on behalf of our issues, but we're seeing a lot of her moving farther to the right."
McCaskill has put an emphasis on engaging the African-American community in urban areas like St. Louis, cognizant of the fact that it will be hard to win reelection without strong support there.
The Washington Free Beacon reported last month that McCaskill had complained about a lack of support in areas such as Ferguson.
"I'm not going to sugarcoat it, we need more volunteers in Ferguson," McCaskill said in the video.
Her Republican opponent Josh Hawley, who French says has also failed to make inroads with Missouri's African-American community, has been critical of McCaskill's focus on urban areas, saying she has abandoned rural voters.