Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) sought Sunday to portray the Missouri Senate race as more a key part of the larger battle for the Senate majority than a referendum on embattled Rep. Todd Akin’s candidacy, and said Akin could defeat Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) in November.
“I think anybody else would have been a candidate that clearly would have won, and Todd very well may win,” Blunt said on CNN’s “State Of The Union.”
Akin stoked controversy in an interview last month when he said that “legitimate rape” rarely causes pregnancy. Blunt had previously called on Akin to end his bid, but after the deadline for Akin to remove himself form the ballot passed Tuesday, the senator announced his support for the congressman’s campaign.
Blunt said the Senate contest is more about the Senate majority than Akin.
“I think at the end of the day that race does largely become a debate about the majority in the Senate,” Blunt said.
He added that Republicans have at least even odds of winning back the upper chamber. ”I think it’s still at least 50-50 that Republicans take over the Senate,” Blunt said.
Speaking on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said he isn’t supporting Akin, and he doesn’t think the Republican Party should either.
Updated at 12:11 p.m.