Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin acknowledges the obvious in an interview with the Associated Press. His Senate campaign has not gone as expected.
“This thing has been a bucking bronco ride,” Akin said in a recent interview with the AP, adding that he has no regrets about forging ahead. “It’s always worth it when you do what you think in your heart is the right thing to do.”
Akin is not denying the financial challenge that stands between him and McCaskill’s Senate seat.
Noting that McCaskill has outspent him 10-to-1 on advertising in some weeks, Akin’s campaign recently pleaded with donors to dig a little deeper, telling them in an email message, “We need resources NOW in order to compete with McCaskill.”
The money plea came as media coverage was again focused on something Akin said – this time, comparing McCaskill to a “dog” that fetches “taxes and red tape and bureaucracy” from Washington, D.C. Last month, Akin drew linguistic scrutiny after suggesting McCaskill wasn’t very “ladylike” in their first debate. Unlike the “legitimate rape” comment, Akin made no apologies for the “ladylike” or “dog” remarks.
Akin’s comments have played right into McCaskill’s campaign strategy. The day after Akin won a competitive Aug. 7 Republican primary, McCaskill launched a website featuring video clips of Akin criticizing Social Security, the minimum wage and federal student loans. When Akin’s “legitimate rape” remark aired on TV on Aug. 19, it only added to McCaskill’s theme that Akin was extreme and out of touch with the mainstream.
More recently, McCaskill has hammered Akin with TV ads featuring rape survivors expressing outrage about his remark and his opposition to emergency contraception. At a campaign rally earlier this week, McCaskill quipped that her strategy before the election is to “just keep Todd Akin talking.”
Akin asserts it is McCaskill who is out of touch with the views of many Missourians, illustrated by her support for Obama and his big-government policies, such as the 2009 stimulus act and 2010 health care law. McCaskill’s ties to Obama – she was one of his earliest supporters in the 2008 presidential campaign – figured to provide an advantage to Akin in a state that has recently tilted toward Republicans in national elections. Obama, who narrowly lost Missouri despite a vigorous campaign in 2008, essentially conceded the state this year to Romney.
Akin’s latest strategy has been to portray McCaskill as the beneficiary of big government by highlighting the business deals of her husband, Joseph Shepard. Firms affiliated with Shepard received $39 million in federal housing subsidies during McCaskill’s first five years in office, though McCaskill’s campaign has said that money helped operate low-income housing units and did not personally enrich the family.
Akin had hoped that the National Republican Senatorial Committee would re-enter Missouri’s Senate race if he remained close in the polls in the final weeks. An NRSC spokesman said it is a keeping “a close eye on this race” and hopes Akin can win.