Former GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin in the final weekend of the campaign. A lengthy report in the Springfield News Leader says Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin and his campaign “were shell shocked” by the intense pressure for Akin to drop out of the Senate race last August, following his controversial remarks about ‘legitimate rape”. The News-leader’s Washington correspondent, Deidre Shesgreen reported Sunday on the behind-the-scenes bid to get Akin to drop out. The report says Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blunt urged Akin to be careful what he said, just days before the explosive remarks re-shaped Akin’s Senate campaign. The News Leader says Blunt told Akin “he needed to avoid freewheeling press interviews”. Blunt apparently also urged Akin to assemble a more savvy campaign staff for the fall campaign against incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill. Once Akin’s remarks exploded, the article says Blunt found himself near the center of a three-way drive to force Akin off the ticket. One prong came from the Republican Senate Campaign Committee, a second came from the national Republican Party. The third force was made up of Missouri Republicans, with Blunt one of the driving forces. All three groups thought Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment made it harder to win the Missouri Senate race. The Missouri seat was once considered an almost-automatic pick-up by Republicans because of the perceived political unpopularity of McCaskill after her first term. After the remark, all three groups leaned heavily on Akin to drop out of the race. “they (Akin’s campaign) thought seriously about for about four hours and that was it,” said Harold Hendrick, in the News Leader report. It added Hendrick is a Christian talk radio show host who is close to Akin. The report also says Akin’s son and campaign manager, Perry Akin, said his father considered dropping out of the race, briefly, but decided against it. The news story says no one knows for sure who was the source for another tantalizing campaign rumor. That rumor was that an arrangement had been struck between Missouri Republicans, Missouri Congressional candidate Ann Wagner and Akin. The supposed deal would have Akin drop out of the race, and be replaced by Wagner. Akin would then run for re-election from the Missouri 2nd congressional district.. The News Leader report cites Blunt’s son Andy as saying the Wagner rumor “was never real”.