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December 22, 2014

Posts in "Mo. Senate"

December 7, 2012

NRSC Funneled Money to Missouri GOP That Supported Akin

Updated 11:55 a.m. | In the last days of the 2012 campaign, the National Republican Senatorial Committee sent $760,000 to the Missouri Republican Party, which appears to have used the money to run TV ads for Rep. Todd Akin’s ill-fated Senate campaign.

By not transferring the money until the first two days of November, people could only speculate as to the source of the cash infusion until after casting their ballots. Democrats would no doubt have targeted Republicans in other battleground states with ads and statements that the GOP was effectively backing Akin, despite indications to the contrary by the group’s chairman, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

Democrats were quick to pounce on the news Friday morning after a report by the Springfield News-Leader outlining the apparent connection between the $760,000 transfer and an ad buy by the Missouri GOP for practically the same amount in support of Akin.

Full story

November 6, 2012

Claire McCaskill Wins Re-Election Against Todd Akin

Claire McCaskill Wins Re Election Against Todd Akin

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D), a crafty politician and tireless campaigner, won re-election tonight, beating Republican Rep. Todd Akin.

Akin’s candidacy, despite being a Republican in a red state, was irrevocably harmed when he told a local TV host that the “legitimate rape” of a woman rarely leads to pregnancy.

With 39 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press had McCaskill with 51 percent of the vote to Akin’s 42 percent.

McCaskill is widely credited with helping Akin win a competitive primary by airing “attack” ads against him that actually boosted him among the conservative GOP electorate. Akin made his harmful comments about rape after his primary win.

Full story

Daily Ad Track

On Friday, we noted the 10 toughest ads of the cycle. For our last Daily Ad Track here on Election Day, we take a look at the best ads of the cycle. Some are negative, some are positive, some are defensive. But all cut through the clutter this year:

10. New Hampshire 1

Group sponsoring the ad: Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

Women’s testimonials have cluttered television screens, but there was something about a montage of tough guys with facial hair talking about “women’s medical issues” that made us stop.

November 1, 2012

Rape Comment Forces John Koster Into Damage Control

Rape Comment Forces John Koster Into Damage Control

Former state Rep. John Koster has been in damage control mode. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In this election, some candidates have made unguarded comments at off-the-record fundraisers, while others have drawn fire for impolitic comments about women and rape.

Former state Rep. John Koster (R) has managed to do both. Koster, who remains closely tied with Democrat Suzan DelBene in Washington State’s 1st district, has been in damage control mode since Wednesday, when a progressive group released a secretly recorded audiotape of him saying that “the rape thing” does not justify abortion.

In the audiotape, posted on YouTube by the progressive group Fuse Washington, Koster responds to an unseen questioner who asks him: “Is there any time that you would agree with abortion?”

Koster’s reply includes the comment: “On the rape thing, it’s like: How does putting more violence onto a woman’s body and taking the life of an innocent child that’s the consequence of this crime – how does that make it better?”

Full story

Daily Ad Track

The flow of new ads has declined in the waning days of this campaign, but we saw some candidates release defensive, counter-ads after enduring brutal attacks. We also saw a strong closing biographical ad.

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October 31, 2012

Missouri: Super PAC That Backed Sarah Steelman Makes Ad Buy for Todd Akin

Independent Republican groups are making one last push in support of Rep. Todd Akin’s Senate candicacy, spending money on Missouri TV ads in the campaign’s final days.

The Now or Never super PAC, which backed former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman over Akin in the GOP primary, announced today that it would spend $800,000 to air a spot in Missouri encouraging voters supporting GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to vote for Akin to help Republicans win control of the Senate.

“Mitt Romney can take our nation in a new direction, but he needs a Senate that supports him,” the ad says. “You don’t have to agree with everything he says, but you can be sure, in the Senate, Akin will vote for Romney’s policies.”

Full story

October 29, 2012

Daily Ad Track

Here’s what cut through the clutter today:

Missouri Senate

The newest in a series of ads from Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) featuring Missouri voters attacking Rep. Todd Akin (R) over the issue that gave McCaskill a chance to hold her seat.

A woman opens the ad saying, “Todd Akin is scary,” with a second criticizing his comments about “legitimate rape.” The ad also replays August video of Akin making those comments on a St. Louis TV station. Following that statement, Akin lost support of most national Republicans and conservative activists, including the National Republican Senatorial Committee and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

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October 27, 2012

Competing Polls as Missouri Senate Race Enters Final Week

Competing Polls as Missouri Senate Race Enters Final Week

A new Missouri poll showed Sen. Claire McCaskill's lead over Rep. Todd Akin narrowing in the final days of the campaign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A poll commissioned by two leading Missouri newspapers indicates the state’s Senate race may be narrowing approaching the final week, but internal polling from Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill’s campaign tells a different story.

The independent poll, released late Friday night, showed McCaskill holding just a 2-point lead over her beleaguered GOP opponent, Rep. Todd Akin. The poll had a 4-point margin of error.

New internal numbers out this morning, however, showed McCaskill up by double digits, 53 percent to 39 percent. Most other polling has also shown McCaskill well ahead of Akin since he made remarks about pregnancies resulting from what he called “legitimate rape.”

“As we plan for the final week of the campaign, Sen. McCaskill is fully in command, and we see no indication that Akin has rebounded.  Quite the contrary; his ratings are now as low as we have ever measured them,” McCaskill’s pollsters from Kiley & Company said in a memo.

The polling firm Mason-Dixon conducted the outside survey of 625 likely voters for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Kansas City Star and St. Louis TV station KMOV. Asked about the new numbers, the McCaskill campaign was quick to remind KMOV that a Mason-Dixon poll released shortly before the Republican primary missed the mark entirely.

That poll showed Akin with 17 percent support, placing a distant third behind former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman and businessman John Brunner. Akin prevailed in the primary with about 36 percent of the vote. A Mason-Dixon poll conducted shortly after the rape comments showed McCaskill ahead by 9 points.

McCaskill’s campaign launched three new ads statewide earlier in the week, continuing an aggressive campaign in spite of the lead.

“I think from a national perspective, Todd is doing what people said couldn’t be done,” Akin senior adviser Rick Tyler told KMOV.

Akin’s campaign has tried to bring the narrative back to economic issues and McCaskill’s job performance and away from his controversial statements, but that’s proved difficult with limited campaign resources. It has also been pushing a variety of allegations against businesses in which McCaskill’s husband is involved.

Akin has caused other trouble for himself, though.

He was forced to amend 10 years of financial disclosures after inexplicably failing to report a pension income he earned as a state employee.  He previously filed an amendment to his disclosure forms because he had neglected to list at least $355,000 in property.

Roll Call rates the race as Leans Democratic.

October 25, 2012

Missouri: McCaskill Camp Tries Closing the Deal

The campaign of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) is launching three new ads statewide today that feature comments by Missourians.

“We’ve been hearing a number of things that are pretty consistent no matter where we go and who we’re talking to across the state,” campaign manager Adrianne Marsh told reporters. ”And it’s related to things that are important to them, like veterans care and Medicare, Social Security, student loans, minimum wage — the very things themes that we’ve been talking about on this campaign since the beginning.”

Speaking on a conference call with reporters, Marsh said they encountered the individuals featured in the ads in a variety of venues across the state. Many of the individuals featured criticize the positions of GOP challenger Rep. Todd Akin. Several of the individuals featured are wearing St. Louis Cardinals apparel.

Full story

October 22, 2012

Missouri: Todd Akin Calls Controversial Comments ‘Distractions’

Missouri: Todd Akin Calls Controversial Comments Distractions

Rep. Todd Akin (CQ Roll Call file photo)

GOP Rep. Todd Akin said today that many of the issues being debated in the Missouri Senate race are “distractions” from the topics voters most care about.

“If the race is going to be decided on distractions, then that’s not good for us,” Akin said in an interview with KMOV in St. Louis. “But if people take a look and say what kind of country do we want to live in for the next four years, they’re going to take a look at the record.”

Akin, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, has been plagued by a series of controversial statements. In an indication of the difficulty that Akin is having keeping the focus on his message, the portion of today’s KMOV interview that aired on the local 6 p.m. news in St. Louis pertained exclusively to the controversies, including one that took place Monday.

“If Claire McCaskill were a dog, she’d be a ‘Bullshitsu’,” top Akin adviser Rick Tyler said on Twitter. For now, McCaskill’s re-election campaign is content to allow Akin and his political adviser’s comments to speak for themselves.Missouri: Todd Akin Calls Controversial Comments Distractions

Full story

October 21, 2012

Missouri: Todd Akin Analogizes Claire McCaskill to a Dog Fetching Federal Money

Missouri: Todd Akin Analogizes Claire McCaskill to a Dog Fetching Federal Money

Rep. Todd Akin (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Todd Akin made another impolitic statement Saturday that is gaining traction with national media outlets.

This time, the Missouri Republican, who is challenging Sen. Claire McCaskill (D), made an analogy in which he compared his female opponent to a dog.

“She goes to Washington, D.C., it’s a little bit like one of those dogs, ‘fetch,’” Akin said at a campaign event Saturday in Springfield, according to PoliticMo, which obtained the audio clip. Full story

October 18, 2012

Missouri: Todd Akin, Claire McCaskill Reprise Familiar Themes

Missouri: Todd Akin, Claire McCaskill Reprise Familiar Themes

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and GOP Rep. Todd Akin used the final Missouri Senate debate to talk about issues close to home, but the exchange of the night came on foreign policy.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)  became a focus of the discussion, with McCaskill and Akin disagreeing on his proposal to restrict foreign aid to a variety of countries — even if neither candidate could quite remember which ones the Kentucky Republican meant to reference.

“I am, in fact, the one that’s supporting the fact that we should not be giving foreign money to a number of places, and that includes of course Libya and Pakistan and — let’s see, one other country as well …” Akin said.

McCaskill offered up “Syria,” in a moment reminiscent of when Mitt Romney pitched in to try to help Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) remember which Cabinet departments he planned to eliminate during a presidential primary debate earlier this year.

The third country on Paul’s list is Egypt.

Full story

Missouri: Anti-Todd Akin ‘Talking Greeting Card’ Targets His Rape Comments

The liberal super PAC American Bridge is branching out into the talking greeting card business, sending mailers to Missouri voters featuring the controversial words of Rep. Todd Akin (R).

“Todd Akin’s remarks on ‘legitimate rape’ are just a starting point for his extreme views,” American Bridge spokesman Matt Thornton said. “We figured there is no better way to show Missouri voters that Akin is unqualified to be a U.S. Senator than to let him speak for himself.”

The mailer was produced by MailPOW, a California company that got into the business of producing talking mailers in 2010. The company says the Postal Service, which is in need of new revenue streams, is promoting the product as part of a campaign to increase the number of political advertising materials sent through the mail.

Full story

October 17, 2012

Daily Ad Track

The news on the TV advertising front today has more to do with resource strategy rather than content. As time runs out to book TV reservations, what is most interesting today is where committees and super PACs are spending, rather than the actual ads.

Here is what cut through the clutter:

Full story

October 16, 2012

Rand Paul Enters Fray in Missouri, at Least a Little

Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) PAC is adding Missouri to the list of states where it has created an ad against Democratic Senators opposing his effort to curb U.S. aid to Egypt, Libya and Pakistan.

The ad against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) circulated on YouTube today. It could be a small boon for the beleaguered campaign of challenger Rep. Todd Akin (R). Paul has previously put up similar ads with money behind them targeting Senators in West Virginia, Ohio and Florida.

Full story

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