Huckabee-backed Todd Akin Wins Missouri GOP Senate Primary over Businessman John Brunner and Palin-backed Sarah Steelman; Will take on Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill – 8/8/12

Missouri Republicans chose Rep. Todd Akin last night over two other candidates as their nominee to take on incumbent Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill in November. Akin won, despite being the underdog in yesterday’s primary, defeating St. Louis businessman John Brunner, and Sarah Palin-endorsed Sarah Steelman. Akin was backed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who made the very effective ad posted above in behalf of Akin that aired all over the state in the closing days of the race. Palin had campaigned for Steelman, and made ads for her as well (posted above). But in the end, Akin won out, and will now try to unseat McCaskill, who has been one of Barack Obama’s most ardent supporters in the U.S. Senate:

WASHINGTON POST: Republicans on Tuesday pinned their hopes of winning back a Senate seat in Missouri — and perhaps control of the chamber — on Todd Akin, picking the conservative congressman to take on endangered Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in November.

If the Republican Party is to win the four seats it needs to take the Senate, it will almost certainly need to start by defeating McCaskill, who squeaked into the Senate six years ago in a Democratic wave in a state that has steadily shifted rightward since.

In a volatile and heated campaign, the GOP chose Akin to take on McCaskill over former state treasurer Sarah Steelman and wealthy businessman John Brunner.

Unlike in other recent key Republican Senate primaries, including races in Texas and Indiana, none of the three candidates were traditional establishment picks, and each had sought to lay claim to the mantle of small government outsider.

But in the final days of the race, they had sought to appeal to different splinters of the conservative electorate.

Akin received a late surge of support from evangelicals, impressed by his close ties to former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and his long-standing support for conservative social causes.

In a speech to supporters Tuesday night, Akin prominently thanked Huckabee for his efforts, just after offering gratitude to God.

“The choice is clear in November,” he said, according to prepared remarks. “The big-spending, budget-busting, job-killing liberal or the less spending, balanced budget, job-creating conservative?” . . . Read More

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