Former Missouri State Treasurer Sarah Steelman spent more money than she raised for her Senate campaign, the second quarter in a row that the woman once considered a top recruit to challenge Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) has posted lackluster fundraising figures. Steelman finished the quarter with less than $200,000 cash on hand after raising $200,000 and spending more than that from April through June.
Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) raised more than a half million dollars in the same period and has $1.2 million cash on hand for the race, putting him in the driver's seat for the primary. But his numbers aren't overwhelming: Ann Wagner, who is running for his House seat, raised about the same amount in slightly more than two months, although her numbers were very high for a non-incumbent House candidate.
McCaskill raised $1.4 million in the last quarter and has almost $3 million cash on hand to use against the eventual nominee. No matter who the GOP candidate is, she could face a tough race in the swing state. Her job approval numbers have been below 50 percent in polls conducted this year, and she admitted in March that she owed $300,000 in back taxes on a private plane she owned with her husband, and that she had used taxpayer money to fly the plane on a political trip. She tackled the issue head-on, apologizing to voters, paying the back taxes and selling the plane, but the issue will likely be raised by Republicans in the general election.
Akin may have his own troubles: he recently switched his voting registration the same day that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that he had been voting in a town where he no longer lived.
Some Democrats are privately rooting for Akin to win the primary — they
believe his more conservative profile and long voting record in the
House make him an easier opponent than Steelman would be, at least on paper. Businessman John Brunner is also considering entering the GOP primary field. Brunner would be able to self-fund, and Steelman's anemic numbers might encourage him to run.