Akin and his allies buy last-minute ad time
In the final days before Election Day, Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin and his allies are making one last push to flood the airwaves and win over Missouri voters, in spite of his controversial comments on rape and abortion.
Akin and the Missouri Republican Party are spending $700,000 in television ads in the race against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, with $386,000 coming from the state party. Akin's most recent ad features veterans who support the Republican. "He's the one that got the V.A. to send me to the Mayo Clinic," one Iraq war veteran says in the ad. "I am living proof that he does fight for veterans and I'm voting for Todd Akin and every other veteran should vote for Todd Akin too."
The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which typically helps fund GOP Senate races, reportedly declined to comment on whether it was contributing to this investment. Earlier this year, after Akin suggested in an interview that women couldn't get pregnant from "legitimate rape," the NRSC said it was dropping its financial support for Akin, as did other conservative organizations. McCaskill, one of the most vulnerable senators up for re-election this year, has hammered Akin for those remarks and has maintained a slight lead in polls. Akin, however, is close on McCaskill's heels in the red state.
A conservative super PAC called Now or Never, meanwhile, announced Wednesday it's spending $800,000 to support Akin, even though the group formerly supported Akin's primary challenger Sarah Steelman. In an ad, the group acknowledges Akin may not be ideal candidate: "You don't have to agree with everything he says, but in the Senate, you can be sure Akin will vote for Romney's policies," a narrator says.
The group isn't required by law to disclose its supporters, but a spokesman told McClatchy it is comprised of 10 businessmen and political operatives who work in both Washington and Missouri.
Another super PAC linked to Republican Sen. Rand Paul, called America's Liberty PAC, is reportedly spending six-figures in the coming days as well to support Akin.
While multiple groups are helping the candidate behind the scenes, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich hit the campaign trail with Akin this week to back the Senate candidate publicly. Gingrich hosted a set of fundraisers for Akin Tuesday and on Wednesday led a rally for him in Kansas City.
"There is no other race in the country that will send a bigger signal to the moneyed Republican establishment that it is votes that matter and citizens that matter," Gingrich said at the event, the Associated Press reported.
While Akin and McCaskill remain in a brutal battle against each other, Akin this week extended his condolences to his opponent after her mother died. After slowing down her campaigning in recent days to be with her mother, McCaskill was back on the trail on Wednesday.
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