McConnell: Missouri race isn't must-win

Republicans can win control of the Senate in November even they fail to oust Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Monday. 

"We can take the Senate without Missouri," McConnell said, according to USA Today. 

The party had viewed the Missouri seat as a likely pick-up this year until their nominee in the race, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), made controversial comments about "legitimate rape." In the aftermath, a number of polls have found a swell of support for McCaskill in Missouri.

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Akin apologized for his remarks, but has refused to quit the race despite pressure from Republicans and the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, Mitt Romney. 

McConnell called Akin's remarks "deeply offensive" last week in a statement telling him to leave the race. 

"I’m certain that he is sincerely sorry for what he said but in this instance, when the future of our country is at stake, sorry is not sufficient," McConnell said in the statement.

If President Obama wins reelection, the GOP would need a net gain of four seats to win a majority in the Senate.  

McConnell conceded that "it'd be a lot easier" to win the majority with Missouri in the GOP column, but pointed to races in Florida, Ohio, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Virginia and Wisconsin as possible pick-up states for Republicans. 

"The Senate Democratic majority is an embarrassment and should be replaced," McConnell said.

— This story was updated at 12:05 p.m.

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