Why He Matters
Even in a House Republican Conference that has moved distinctly to the right in recent decades, Akin stands out as one of its most conservative members. The former Army combat engineer and Missouri legislator was first elected to represent the 2nd district in 2000 after winning a hard-fought primary by just 56 votes. Since then, he has avoided serious reelection challenges and built a reputation for holding the conservative line on both social and fiscal policy.
Akin has trumpeted his support from religious conservatives, backing proposals to promote the display of the Ten Commandments on public property, to keep references to God in the Pledge of Allegiance and to teach intelligent design alonside evolution in public schools. On budget issues, he has steadfastly opposed government bailouts of private industry.