Akin Staying in Missouri Senate Race
On the last day for him to be able to drop out of the Missouri Senate race, Rep. Todd Akin (R) said that he has "one purpose going into November, and that's replacing Claire McCaskill."
Akin's support from the GOP establishment was derailed by comments about rape and pregnancy he made last month. Some conservative groups are reconsidering decisions about funding the congressman's campaign, though, with Sen. Jim DeMint's (R-S.C.) Senate Conservatives Fund sending out feelers to supporters today asking if Akin should get cash now that he's staying on the ballot.
"I believe that the positions that I've taken, as I've traveled the state, the citizens I've talked to say, 'You're mainstream Missouri; We want you, Congressman Akin, as our senator, and particularly we want you now because we know that people can't buy you and that you're going to stand up for this state and this country, and not be part of any special interest group,'" Akin told a press conference today hours before the 5 p.m. withdrawal deadline.
"In 1940, Harry Truman was pitched overboard by the Democrat Party in St. Louis and Kansas City. But he decided that he was going to challenge those particular leaders and let the public decide in the state of Missouri. The rest is history. We're going to do it again," Akin said.
"A lot of people in politics specialize in asking this question: Can we win? But there's another -- but there's another question that's more fundamental, and that is: What's the right thing to do? There is an amazing correlation. When you do the right thing, you end up winning anyway," he added.
The race is ranked by Real Clear Politics as leaning Dem, with McCaskill ahead of Akin by a 5.3 average in recent polls.
"We're not going to play in Missouri with Todd Akin, I can tell you that," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Sunday on ABC's This Week. "...I'm very confident we can take the Senate."