GOP helped Todd Akin in the end, to no avail


The NRSC couldn't save Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.). (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

After pledging not to spend a penny on his race, the National Republican Senatorial Committee helped Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) out with a $760,000 cash infusion in early November. 

FEC reports filed Thursday show two transfers from the NRSC to the Missouri Republican Party, one for $360,000 on Nov. 1 and one for $400,000 on Nov. 2.

In the wake of Akin's comments on "legitimate rape" in an August interview, national Republicans urged him to drop out of the race. Worried that involvement with Akin would reflect badly on other candidates, the NRSC said that it would spend nothing to help him win. 

But as the election neared, some polls suggested Akin was making up the ground he lost with those comments. The National Republican Senatorial Committee, with what had become a very slim chance of retaking the Senate, clearly thought it was worth investing anywhere it might have a chance at victory. 

In the end, those polls were wrong: McCaskill won by more than 15 points. Republicans lost a net two seats in the Senate. 

The funds came just as the state GOP placed a large coordinated buy with Akin's campaign, an ad barrage it almost certainly could not have afforded on their own. When asked in late October if the committee was helping Akin pay for a recent television buy, an NRSC spokesman declined to comment. 

“It is not only wrong that the NRSC would provide funds to support a dangerous extremist like Todd Akin,” said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman in a statement. “It was underhanded and dishonest that they would purposely mislead the public about their actions.”

An NRSC spokesperson has not returned a request for comment. 

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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