Rep. Todd Akin‘s campaign is touting new poll numbers that place the Missouri Republican in a statistical dead heat with incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill in a closely watched Senate race. The outcome may determine which party controls the upper chamber when the new Congress is seated in January.
Mason-Dixon Polling & Research surveyed 625 registered voters, showing McCaskill up 45 – 43%, with 8% undecided. The poll was conducted for KMOV-TV in St. Louis, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Kansas City Star, and has a margin of error of +/- 4%.
In an email to supporters, the Akin campaign noted that the challenger has been outspent 10-1 in recent weeks. Indeed, it’s been hard not to notice the paucity of Akin ads on the airwaves as we come down the home stretch of this election, though I did see one on Fox News this evening sponsored by Freedom’s Defense Fund.
That may be the real problem for Akin. Money – or lack of it. In conservative-leaning Missouri, amidst a recent national upswing for the GOP, and with unflinching support from his base, Akin has managed to even the race.
The question is whether Akin will be able to hold his own with the remaining undecided voters. He is currently behind with independents (and presumably most of the remaining undecideds are also independents), so he’s got to break that trend to capture his share of votes still on the table. If he can do that, he can win – because among existing supporters, I believe Akin’s are more committed and more likely to show up at the polls on Election Day, or vote early, or absentee.
Akin needs money to win some of these undecideds. Will GOP groups come to the rescue, in the form of independent expenditures on TV time and other efforts? That remains to be seen.
But if you are a Missouri Republican and you have been avoiding this race, it’s time to get off the sidelines.
Who do you support? Show it – with your time or your money or in your conversation with friends and family. Because one of these two candidates will represent Missouri in the Senate for the next six years. I for one do not want that person to be Claire McCaskill, and I’m not afraid to say it.