The election in "2012 will be about a very simple question — that is what should the size and scope and cost of the fed government be?" Martin told The Associated Press. "Sen. McCaskill decided along with President Obama that bigger and stronger and more costly is better."
A historical swing state, Missouri is expected to feature one of the nation's more closely contested U.S. Senate races next year. McCaskill has cut a high profile in her first term, leading subcommittee investigations into government contracting and breaking with Democratic Senate leaders as an outspoken critic of earmarks.
But many Republicans view McCaskill as politically vulnerable because of her early and continued support of Obama, whose popularity waned in Missouri after he narrowly lost the state to Republican Sen. John McCain in the 2008 elections.
Last November, incumbent congressman Russ Carnahan, a member of the influential Carnahan political family, defeated Martin by only two percentage points in this heavily Democratic district. In the Republican primary, Martin will be facing former Missouri treasurer Sarah Steelman and likely other candidates who have yet to announce.