A political committee founded by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has received more than $290,000 in pledges for Todd Akin’s Senate bid in Missouri.
The Senate Conservatives Fund polled its donors about the Missouri race, and 93 percent of those who responded said it should back Akin's campaign to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.).
DeMint and former presidential contender Rick Santorum endorsed Akin on Wednesday.
Matt Hoskins, executive director of the Senate Conservatives Fund, has asked supporters to make good on their pledges, which will be sent directly to Akin’s campaign. He framed the Missouri Senate race as a test of the Republican establishment in Washington.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee on Wednesday cautiously opened the door to getting back in the race after insisting for weeks that it would have nothing further to do with Akin.
“There is no question that for Missourians who believe we need to stop the reckless Washington spending, rein-in the role of government in people’s lives, and finally focus on growing jobs in this country that Todd Akin is a far more preferable candidate than liberal Sen. Claire McCaskill,” NRSC executive director Rob Jesmer said in a statement. “As with every Republican Senate candidate, we hope Todd Akin wins in November and we will continue to monitor this race closely in the days ahead.”
Some political strategists and experts say it will be difficult for Republicans to win control of the Senate without picking up Missouri.
DeMint and other conservatives believe Republicans have a better chance of winning Missouri than blue states such as Maine and Connecticut, where polls show closer-than-expected races.
The NRSC pulled funding from the Missouri race this summer after Akin caused a national uproar by claiming that women rarely become pregnant from “legitimate” rape because of the body’s defensive reactions to trauma.
Akin is operating at a huge cash disadvantage to McCaskill in the stretch run of the campaign.
McCaskill reported $3.5 million in cash on hand as of mid-July, while Akin reported $532,000.
Freedom’s Defense Fund, a conservative political committee, has announced plans to spend $250,000 on cable TV and radio advertising to support Akin.