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Posted at 10:51 p.m. on Nov. 6, 2012
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.
Akin, a deeply conservative and religious six-term Congressman from a conservative district just outside St. Louis, brushed off Republican requests and ignored threats from the GOP establishment to drop out of the race after he made his controversial remarks or risk losing their support.
Without much outside help, Akin, a poor fundraiser, was overwhelmed by the onslaught of McCaskill’s attack ads and negative press coverage.