The Hill’s 50 races to watch


Missouri Senate

Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillDemocrats desperate for a win hail spending bill Koch-backed group launches six-figure ad buy against Heitkamp GOP Senate candidate slams McCaskill over Clinton ties MORE vs Todd Akin

What once looked like a likely win for Republicans now leans Democratic, following the implosion of Republican Rep. Todd Akin’s candidacy. 

Controversial comments he made about rape and pregnancy in August caused the national GOP and outside groups to abandon their candidate financially, with Mitt Romney eventually calling for his withdrawal from the race. But Akin persisted, picking up the endorsements of Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and other prominent Republicans after the deadline passed for him to exit the race. They’re now helping him fundraise, and South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint’s PAC, the Senate Conservatives Fund, invested nearly $300,000 in the race — cash he’ll need to combat the $5.8 million Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) raised in the third quarter alone. 

Despite her cash and organizational advantage, Republicans hope that McCaskill’s party affiliation will be reason enough for Republicans to hold their noses and vote Akin come November.

The Hill rates this race as leaning Democratic.