Updtated at 5:52 p.m. with comments from Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill
Congressman Todd Akin didn't drop out of the race for US Senate yesterday before the legal deadline, despite significant local and national pressure otherwise. He would now need a court order to leave the race.
Here's how the day after the deadline has looked so far:
Missouri GOP chair: Akin's comments threaten party's chances
The chairman of the Missouri Republican Party says Congressman Todd Akin is threatening the party's chances of winning in November by remaining in the U.S. Senate race.
Chairman David Cole said in a memo to members of the Republican State Committee that Akin's comments about pregnancy and rape are "not just a distraction" but "pose a threat to our party's chances of retaking control of the U.S. Senate" and could affect other Missouri races.
Akin has refused the calls of top Republicans to drop his challenge to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill after making comments that women's bodies have ways of avoiding pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape." Akin has apologized and said he misspoke.
Akin also sent new fundraising emails Wednesday seeking to restock his campaign.
Asking for forgiveness, and funding
Republican Congressman Todd Akin is highlighting his Christian faith while asking for help in reviving his Senate campaign.
A fundraising appeal sent Wednesday by Akin notes he has asked both God and voters for forgiveness for his comments.
In the appeal, Akin writes that the media, "Washington elites" and "party bosses" are all against him. He implores people to support his "conservative voice" with a $5 donation.
The National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee and the conservative Crossroads group said they would end their ad support if Akin stayed in the race.
Missouri GOP candidates staying quiet
Among the few Republicans who have remained quiet about U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin's comments dealing with rape and abortion are the Missouri GOP candidates for top state offices.
Akin is facing pressure to quit his race from GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, national Republicans and five senior Missouri Republicans. He also has been defended by some, including Missouri Right to Life.
But fellow Missouri Republicans appearing with Akin on the statewide ballot seem to have refrained from delivering public pressure or defense.
Comments from McCaskill
The day after GOP leaders stepped up their efforts to convince Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin to withdrawal, his opponent, Claire McCaskill, didn’t have much to say on the topic.
At a campaign stop in St. Louis, McCaskill fielded question after question about calls for Akin to step aside, and each time she gave the same answer.
McCaskill said the voters of Missouri have spoken.
“I’m going to run against Todd Akin and we’re going to run the contrasts that are necessary so that voters know that he’s outside the mainstream,” McCaskill said. “He’s very extreme, and that I’m the senator that will be on their side.”
She said most Missourians already know that there’s a stark contrast between her position on abortion and Akin’s stance.
Standing in front of her campaign bus with a big picture of Missouri on the side, McCaskill said she will travel the state making the case that she’s a good old fashioned Missouri-moderate.
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