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Friday, November 2, 2012

Akin Finds Funding in Final Days of Senate Race

KANSAS CITY, Mo. â€" Representative Todd Akin, abandoned by the Republican establishment after his contentious comments on rape months ago, is receiving an influx of more than $2 million in the final days of his campaign against incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

Nearly a million of those dollars on television ad buys are coming from Mr. Akin's campaign, while the rest is from outside groups, and there is speculation that organizations that previously distanced themselves from the six-term Congressman could be behind some of the new spending.

The Missouri Republican Party coordinated with the Akin campaign for a $387,000 ad buy, a spokesman for Mr. Akin said, while the campaign itself made a $300,000 purchase two days ago. The spokesman, Rick Tyler, said the Akin campaign planned to make another $600,000 ad buy on Thursday.

Although Mr. Akin had only about $550,000 at the end of September, Mr. Tyler said the campaign had raised money from var ious sources since then. As of the middle of October, the Missouri Republican Party had $375,080 on hand, leading to some speculation that it may have received an outside cash infusion to help with the Akin ad buys.

It has raised the question of whether the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which may make large-sum transfers to state parties, was behind the funding. The committee had pledged millions of dollars to Mr. Akin before he made his infamous comments in August that victims of “legitimate rape” could fight off pregnancy. It withdrew its funding pledge and, while it maintained in recent weeks that it would not re-enter the race with money, it also said that it hoped Mr. Akin would win the race and it was monitoring the situation closely.

A spokesman for the committee did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment on Thursday.

One of Mr. Akin's television ads already was up on Thursday, and it featured a w oman who said she was a rape victim and another who said she was a Russian immigrant. The rape victim, identified as Kelly, said she was supporting Mr. Akin because “he defends the unborn. He's a kind man, a compassionate man. He has so much integrity.”

The Russian woman, Zoya, said that she has known the Akin family for 7 years and that Mr. Akin knew that the government's job was “to protect life, not control life like they did in Russia.”

In addition to the ad buys from the state party and his own campaign, Mr. Akin is getting a boost from the Now or Never PAC, which announced a $1 million ad buy on Wednesday, and a $550,000 purchase from Faith Family Freedom Fund. Now or Never's ad says, “You don't have to agree with everything he says, but you can be sure in the Senate Akin will vote for Romney's policies to get Americans working again.”

This influx of money came the same week that a new poll was released showing the race to be a dead heat.< /p>

Despite this late spending surge from Mr. Akin, his fund-raising has paled in comparison to that of Ms. McCaskill, who spent more than four and a half times as much as her opponent in the third quarter. In fact, Ms. McCaskill's campaign launched its own ad on Thursday using Mitt Romney to attack Mr. Akin.

“Is Todd Akin fit to serve in the Senate,” a moderator asks at the opening of the ad. “Mitt Romney doesn't think so.”

The ad then cuts to a clip of Mr. Romney speaking next to his running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan.

“What he said was indefensible, was wrong, it was offensive and he should step out of the race,” Mr. Romney said.