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Are national Republicans backing Todd Akin now?
The Senate candidate who infamously expounded on "legitimate rape" is throwing money around, suggesting that previously outraged GOPers are lining his pockets
 
Todd Akin, accompanied by Newt Gingrich, speaks at a campaign event in Lee's Summit, Mo., on Oct. 30.
Todd Akin, accompanied by Newt Gingrich, speaks at a campaign event in Lee's Summit, Mo., on Oct. 30.
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) became a pariah in the GOP establishment when he infamously declared that victims of "legitimate rape" can't get pregnant because their bodies could magically "shut that whole thing down." Top officials in the Republican Party quickly distanced themselves from Akin's inaccurate and insensitive comment, and Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, proclaimed that Akin would receive no aid from the NRSC in his bid to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill, the vulnerable Democratic incumbent. However, for a campaign outfit without national support, Akin is showing a lot of green, say John Bresnahan and Manu Raju at Politico:

Rep. Todd Akin and the Missouri Republican Party are launching a nearly $700,000 TV ad blitz in the closing days of his challenge to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, but the source of the funds for the effort is unclear...

The National Republican Senatorial Committee declined repeatedly to comment on whether it is the source of the funds being used by the Missouri GOP on Akin’s behalf. Previously, the committee has insisted it would stay out of the race.

Campaign finance records indicate that Akin is probably getting outside support, but the Republican National Committee flat out denies involvement, says Evan McMorris-Santoro at Talking Points Memo. That leaves the NRSC, since "national committees are the only entities allowed to transfer money to a state party for an ad buy like this one," says Alexandra Jaffe at The Hill.

Why would the NRSC have a change of heart? With the chance of winning in the Senate slipping out of the GOP's grasp, the NRSC may very well have decided to come crawling back to the Senate candidate it disowned, says Julie Sobel at The National Journal:

With key Senate races trending in the Democrats' direction — Maine, Florida, Connecticut and Indiana, most notably — taking a flier in a state with a fairly conservative electorate makes sense. Missouri may now be a necessary pickup for Republicans to entertain netting four seats required to win back an outright majority.

And for good measure, the NRSC wouldn't have to disclose any shift of funds to Akin until after the election.

 

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