Missouri congressman Todd Akin called it his "six-second mistake." But his brief remark about "legitimate rape" was more than enough to sink his U.S. Senate campaign.
Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill defeated her Republican challenger with nearly 55 percent of the vote to Akin's 39 percent in Tuesday's election. It was the largest margin of victory in a Missouri Senate race since 1994.
Missouri voters went to the poll in big numbers, but not as big as in 2008.
Figures released by Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan's office on Wednesday showed that 2.7 million people, or 65.7 percent of registered voters, turned out on Tuesday. Both the raw number and the percentage were down from 2008, when a record 2.9 million voters, or 69.4 percent, went to the polls.
Missouri Republicans have increased their control of the state Legislature, apparently claiming the two-thirds majority needed to override the governor's vetoes.
Complete but unofficial returns show the GOP apparently will have 110 seats in the 163-member House. In the state Senate, Republicans maintained their veto-proof majority. But incumbent GOP Sen. Jim Lembke, of St. Louis, lost to Democratic challenger Scott Sifton.
Several sitting House members also lost their re-election bids.
By Olga Khrustaleva and Alex Olgin and Katarina Sostaric
In Jefferson City, US Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer celebrated his re-election, as he received just under 70% of the popular vote in the 3rd Congressional District. He says the toughest part of this election was getting his name out in the new part of his district.
“You are never sure. You always come in with some anticipation. But if you do your work and you walk in tonight, you feel pretty comfortable because you know where you are gonna be. I have a good sense from the standpoint that I go around my district and I meet with people every day,” Luetkemeyer said.