Todd Akin on the November ballot: Will he have any serious money?
This post has been updated.
Todd Akin is resolute about staying in his race for Missouri's Senate seat, but the question is how much money he'll have for the contest.
Ignoring calls from leaders of his own party to abandon the contest — one the GOP had been counting on winning in its quest to take over the Senate — after airing his controversial theories about "legitimate rape" and female biology in an interview last month, the Republican congressman on Tuesday evening let the last deadline pass for getting off the ballot.
Even though the GOP establishment is shunning their nominee against Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., some party conservatives are beginning to try to stage a revival:
Update Sept. 26: In an e-mail to his supporters this morning, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum announced that he'll be endorsing Akin. Santorum, another social conservative who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP presidential nomination this year, called the congressman "a principled conservative who is committed to winning and fighting for the U.S. Senate."
On Monday, House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a one-time GOP presidential candidate hosted a luncheon for Akin in a St. Louis suburb.
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., who has backed challenged party leaders before to back ideological conservatives, is also considering putting the considerable financial resources of his Senate Conservatives Fund behind Akin — though the super PAC is asking backers whether it's worth the investment.
Akin's suggestion that women's bodies have a way of preventing pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape" caused an influx of outside money into his race as soon as reports surfaced about his Aug. 19 interview with a St. Louis television station, Sunlight's Follow the Unlimited Money tracker shows — most of it against him.
Working America, an AFL-CIO-affiliated super PAC, has spent a total of $12,897 in getting out the vote efforts. NARAL, a group that backs abortion rights, has also spent $16,935. Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC that has paid for $867,236 in ads supporting McCaskill during the primary, has recently injected $3,326 fighting against the Republican nominee. You can see the spike in spending for McCaskill on the chart below.
Prior to Missouri's August primary, McCaskill was considered one of the Senate's most endangered Democrats, as evidenced by the deluge of outside conservative money pouring into the state. The race has attracted nearly $5 million from outside groups, the tenth most among this year's Senate races. Groups such as Freedomworks for America spent around $82,411 in media buys and mailing to oppose the senator, while $1.1 million from liberal-leaning organizations such as Majority PAC, Patriot Majority PAC and Voices from the American Federation of Government Employees, came to her rescue.
Akin, however, drew little outside support — except indirectly from groups backing McCaskill, who saw him as the weakest potential opponent. And after a bruising five-way primary, Akin emerged as the Senate nominee, edging out wealthy business executive John G. Brunner and former state treasurer Sarah Steelman.
National GOP sources showed little enthusiasm for Akin even before his disastrous interview — for which he has apologized . The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), the organization that campaigns on behalf of GOP candidates running for the U.S. Senate, has spent $4.3 million in other Senate races in Maine, North Dakota, Indiana and Montana, but none in Missouri. After Akin's comments were aired, the NRSC issued a statement condemning his comments. American Crossroads, the super PAC that has unleashed nearly $30 million in this election cycle, including a $64,097 ad opposing McCaskill last year, also withdrew its support.
Below you can see how outside contributions for the Republican candidate have flatlined.
(Photo credit: Facebook.com/SupportAkin)