What’s sure to be a nasty ad war between Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) and Rep. Todd Akin (R) officially kicked off Wednesday in Missouri’s Senate race. McCaskill rang in the deadline for Akin to withdraw from the contest by launching a new TV spot taking aim at the congressman’s ‘legitimate rape’ remark.
Tuesday was the final day Akin would have been legally able to remove his name from the ballot in Missouri. Akin’s full quote from late August, after he was asked by a Missouri television station whether he supported abortion in cases of rape:
“It seems to me, first of all from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”
In the wake of the comments, national Republicans pressured him to get out of the Senate race, but Akin remained defiant. Both the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Crossroads GPS declared Akin would not be on the receiving end of any financial help ahead of November. But it’s unclear whether or not that will last now that Akin is in the race to stay.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) released a joint statement Wednesday endorsing Akin. The question now: Does Akin have any real shot at winning the impending ad war without help from the national party committees or outside groups?