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GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — With polls opening in less than 24 hours, candidates for U.S. Senate in Missouri made their final appeals to voters Monday.

Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt spent time in Grain Valley speaking with supporters. Meanwhile, Democrat Trudy Busch Valentine was in St. Louis and spoke with a FOX4 sister station.

Former Trump administration acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker introduced Schmitt at the 3GV East Kansas City Airport. They were also joined by Missouri treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick, who is running for state auditor.

Schmitt touched on issues like inflation and the economy, which a FOX4/Emerson College/The Hill poll overwhelmingly revealed was the most important issue on voters’ minds.

Schmitt also spoke proudly about his lawsuits against school districts for mask mandates during the pandemic.

As Schmitt’s campaign attacks his opponent for being a “tax-and-spend liberal,” FOX4 asked Schmitt how he feels about spending taxpayer money on those lawsuits against schools.

“My job is to protect the rights of Missourians,” Schmitt said. “And at any point, whether it’s the federal government or any government that’s overreaching and doing things that are illegal, we’re going to push back, and I’m proud of those lawsuits.”

That same FOX4 poll gives Schmitt a double-digit lead over Busch Valentine. In it, 14% of voters said abortion was their most important issue in this election, making it the third-most critical.

Both candidates addressed it Monday.

“We need to codify Roe V. Wade,” Busch Valentine said. “I think it’s really important that we don’t take a right away that women have had for 50 years. We have to move forward with more equality and more autonomy for everyone.”

“Missouri is a pro-life state,” Schmitt said. “I’m pro-life. I think what’s happening right now, what you’re seeing with this debate, is Democrats are deliberately trying to confuse people about my record, about what the law is Missouri.”

As far as a nationwide ban on abortion, something many prominent Republicans have called for, Schmitt was non-committal.

“I’d be happy to look at it, but I’m not going to answer any hypotheticals about what legislation looks like before I get that,” Schmitt said. “In general, I think these issues should be left up to the states.”

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