(WASHINGTON) — Todd Akin’s comments on “legitimate rape” have caused some to question whether he is a legitimate candidate for Senate in Missouri where he is running against Sen. Claire McCaskill. But several top Senate Republicans still believe that Akin can win in November.
“Todd may well yet win,” Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.
Blunt at first said Akin should give up his run after the rape comments drew fire, but now he and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have expressed support for his campaign, although the NRSC is still holding back monetary contributions.
Republicans increase their overall chances of regaining control of the Senate if Akin defeats incumbent McCaskill. Many other races for Republican-held Senate seats are tightening and the stakes are high, according to Blunt.
“The national issues are big enough that we need to have an discussion of those issues rather than the ones Todd managed to bring to the table,” Blunt said. “I think at the end of the day, that race does largely become a debate about the majority in the Senate.”
If Republicans take control of the Senate in November that change-up would likely stall President Obama’s agenda, should he win re-election. If Mitt Romney wins, controlling the Senate will be key to repealing the Affordable Care Act.
Blunt isn’t the only Republican to back Akin.
Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee hasn’t stopped supporting Akin. And Republican Sens. Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma are hosting a fundraiser for Akin on Wednesday, according to an invitation obtained by Politico.
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