Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill has fended off Republican challenger Todd Akin in Missouri, according to projections from CBS News and NBC News. The latest figures show McCaskill with 53.4 percent of the vote and Akin with 40.4 percent.
McCaskill, a strong supporter of President Obama, had a tough road to re-election in the increasingly conservative Show Me State. That was, at least, until Akin made national headlines and incited a media frenzy in August when he told a local TV station that abortion shouldn't be legal in rape cases because the female body has mysterious powers to prevent pregnancy when it's a case of "legitimate rape." Said Akin: "It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare," referring to pregnancies in instances of rape. "I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child." National Republicans abandoned Akin in droves after that comment.
Here, some initial reactions to McCaskill's victory:
The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza:
And Claire McCaskill has won. That is a race that Republicans were a LOCK to win before Akin's "legitimate rape" comment.
— The Fix (@TheFix) November 7, 2012
Jimmy Fallon Live producer Gavin Purcell:
Legitimate win for McCaskill.
— Gavin Purcell (@gavinpurcell) November 7, 2012
Andrew Kaczynski at BuzzFeed:
Fox New projects that McCaskill beats Todd Akin. Looks like she shut that whole thing down.
— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) November 7, 2012
Ben Greeman at The New Yorker:
Only 1 percent reporting in Missouri, but evidently at least 1500 people thought it would be hilarious to vote for Todd Akin.
— Ben Greenman (@bengreenman) November 7, 2012
Conservative writer Matthew Naugle:
Todd Akin lost. Huge message of tonight: Republicans must stop being so damn clumsy with the serious pro-life message.
— Matthew Naugle (@MattNaugle) November 7, 2012
Lauren Bans at GQ:
Women just naturally have magical ways of shutting down a legitimate Akinvictory.
— Lauren Bans (@LaurenBans) November 7, 2012