Rep. Akin discusses U.S. Senate campaign ahead of primary

Aug 2, 2012

Republican congressman Todd Akin stopped off in Columbia Thursday in one of his last campaign rallies ahead of Tuesday's primary election that pits Akin against two other high-profile GOP candidates vying to challenge U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill in November.

Speaking at a local HyVee, Rep. Akin told supporters that his campaign strategy will stay the course.

“And that is the fact that I’ve been in congress and that I have the most conservative voting record in the state,” Akin said.

Most conservative. That’s the phrase that other GOP primary candidates, businessman John Brunner and former state treasurer Sarah Steelman, are also trying to sell voters on. But it’s also the term Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill has pegged to Akin in her so-called attack ad.

McCaskill’s been criticized for going soft on Akin, perhaps in hopes of challenging him in November instead of the others.  But the TV spot that really may be a blow to Akin’s campaign is Steelman’s spot featuring her endorsement from Sarah Palin.

“I think we could lose a few votes because of that,” admitted Akin.

Despite the support of former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachman, Akin still has an uphill battle in the final few days. He sits behind both Brunner and Steelman in a recent poll by at least 10 percent. One possible reason? Akin’s opponents have been pumping their own money into their campaigns.

“You know we have a tremendous disadvantage. A guy can write himself a $7 million check, or a series of checks adding up to over $7 million. We don’t have that advantage,” said Akin.

The congressman does say he’s raised more money than his opponents in regular fundraising, though. Come Aug. 7th, Akin says he hopes his consistently conservative record and his special connection with Missourians will set him apart from his opponents – especially for the nearly 20 percent of undecided voters.

“Politics aside, I think I have that guarantee that you know what you’re getting. And I think that’s a whole lot safer than rolling the dice.”