Missouri GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin is catching up to Sen. Claire McCaskill in the polls because the Republicans and their cash flow “have snuck in the backdoor,” the Democrat says.
On Friday’s Hardball, McCaskill pointed to Akin- who became a pariah in the GOP establishment following his remarks about “legitimate rape”– and his supporters pumping $1.75 million into statewide ads this week.
McCaskill told host Chris Matthews on Friday that it was disappointing that Republicans seemed to be backing Akin again “after trying to reassure women all over America that they understood why everyone was offended at Todd Akin’s beliefs” in closing days.
Indeed, a slew of lawmakers in the Republican Party backed away from Akin in August after his controversial remarks, including RNC chairman Reince Priebus, Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), and fellow Republican candidates like Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts and Heather Wilson in New Mexico.
So who’s behind the GOP money in Missouri?
Akin’s campaign is contributing $600,000; the Tea Party-backed Now or Never super PAC will shell out $800,000; and the Missouri Republican Party is throwing in $387,000. A super PAC linked with Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has also made a six-figure ad buy. The NRSC, which originally vowed that it would not fund Akin’s campaign, will not verify nor deny whether or not it is a source of some of these funds to the state party.
According to a recent St. Louis Post-Dispatch, McCaskill is leading Akin 45% to 43%, which is in the poll’s 4-point margin of error.
Despite the “headwinds,” McCaskill said she would not be deterred.
“We’re having to work hard but that’s the only speed I know,” she said.