The Missouri Senate race officially kicks into high gear with less than six weeks until the general election. GOP candidate Rep. Todd Akin began a four-day bus tour Tuesday that will criss-cross the state. Meanwhile, incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill released a new push for advertising in Missouri. Despite calls for Akin to resign after controversial remarks Aug. 19, the deadline for him to drop out of the race passed by quietly at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Where did Akin start his statewide tour?
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Akin started in his home territory of St. Louis. Upon launching the Common Sense Bus Tour , Akin told the media outlet in front of 200 cheering supporters, "I have a purpose going into November and that's to replace Claire McCaskill."
Later in the day as the official deadline to drop out passed, Akin was in Cape Girardeau. The Southeast Missourian reveals the conservative candidate spoke for close to 30 minutes in the Bootheel where he reiterated, "And when all is said and done, the people of Missouri chose me to do a job -- and that is to replace Claire McCaskill."
What is McCaskill doing to counter Akin's tour?
A new 30-second advertisement was released called "Todd Akin In His Own Words ." The image of a one-a-day calendar shows Akin's attacks on Social Security in March 2011, Medicare in September 2011, the minimum wage in March, student loans in April and abortion rights with "legitimate rape" in August. The ad concludes, "What will he say next?"
McCaskill also unveiled a new fundraising campaign called "He's In, Let's Win. " The incumbent has a $600,000 fundraising goal between now and Sunday. McCaskill's campaign says, "It's only a matter of time before the Koch brothers and Karl Rove find a way back into Missouri. … Republicans in Washington are coming back to Missouri... ."
How is Akin's fundraising going?
Reuters reports the Senate Conservatives Fund sent an email to around 100,000 members Tuesday asking if the PAC should send financial resources to the GOP Senate campaign in the Show-Me State. The Missouri Republican Party also voiced its support for Akin. Chairman David Cole told Reuters, "The Missouri Republican Party will do everything we can to assist in [Akin's] efforts."
What groups are backing the conservative candidate?
KOLR states Freedom's Defense Fund will spend around $250,000 buying television and radio advertising to counter McCaskill. Mark Centanni told KOLR the ad buy will be the largest investment in a single election anywhere in the country this fall. He also said one main reason the fund is backing Akin is due to the "establishment making [the comment] into a bigger deal that I think it otherwise would have been."
The New York Times interviewed families of homeschooled children who back Akin. John Thrower told the Times he supports Akin because the candidate homeschooled his own children, just like Thrower does. KTTS reports Sen. Roy Blunt admitted he will work for Akin's election even though the two politicians disagree on many issues.
William Browning is a research librarian specializing in U.S. politics.
- Politics & Government
- Claire McCaskill
- Todd Akin