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McCaskill ad frames Rep. Akin as too extreme for Missouri

The ad asks how Akin "measures up" on the "mainstream priorities that matter to Missouri" and attempts to paint him as a far-right conservative with extreme positions on issues important to Missouri voters. It highlights his support for privatizing Social Security and getting rid of the minimum wage, and includes a comment Akin made comparing the federal student loan program to the "stage three cancer of socialism."

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The ad directs viewers to a website launched on Wednesday, TruthAboutAkin.com, that features videos of the lawmaker that the McCaskill campaign says reveal he's too extreme for Missouri. In a rare moment of agreement, Akin's campaign did not dispute the facts posted on the site, but did say it believed the positions McCaskill's campaign is highlighting are sound ones and make Akin attractive to voters — and that he's happy to come across as out of the mainstream.

And Missouri Republican Party Executive Director Lloyd Smith argued that it's McCaskill, rather than Akin, who's too extreme for the state, because of her ties to Obama's policies.

"It would be difficult to find any other Missourian who agrees with Barack Obama 95% of the time—yet Claire McCaskill has done exactly that," he said.

The new ad follows what has been McCaskill's tactic throughout the Missouri GOP primary race: to tar Akin as too conservative for Missouri, a state Democrats hope can swing in favor of Obama this year, despite a narrow loss in 2008. Akin was the favored candidate to win the GOP Senate primary, as Democrats hope his Tea Party ties will make him vulnerable. But with the most recent poll giving Akin a 5-percentage-point lead over McCaskill, it's clear the incumbent still has an uphill battle with her pitch to Missouri voters.

--This post was updated at 3 p.m. to reflect comment from the Missouri Republican Party.