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Missouri: NRSC Expresses Hope Todd Akin Will Defeat Claire McCaskill

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans continued to circle the wagons behind Rep. Todd Akin (Mo.) in his bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill Tuesday, but it remained unclear if they would reverse course and put money behind his candidacy.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee was the latest to issue a statement today, following an endorsement by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) this morning and a statement of support late Tuesday from Missouri’s other Senator, Republican Roy Blunt.

“There is no question that for Missourians who believe we need to stop the reckless Washington spending, rein in the role of government in people’s lives, and finally focus on growing jobs in this country that Todd Akin is a far more preferable candidate than liberal Senator Claire McCaskill,” NRSC Executive Director Rob Jesmer said.

“As with every Republican Senate candidate, we hope Todd Akin wins in November and we will continue to monitor this race closely in the days ahead.” Jesmer added.

He stopped short of saying that national Republicans would spend resources in Missouri. Officials at both the NRSC and the Republican National Committee had said they would steer clear of the race as long as Akin remains the nominee.

Jesmer’s boss told Roll Call as recently as last week that the NRSC would not spend money on the race if Akin’s name was on the ballot.

“We’re done,” NRSC Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) said last week.

When Akin did not drop out of the race as a host of GOP leaders, led by presidential nominee Mitt Romney suggested, the calculus began to change. Blunt and DeMint said they would support Akin going forward, for instance.

“From Governor Romney to the county courthouse, I’ll be working for the Republican ticket in Missouri, and that includes Todd Akin,” Blunt said in a Tuesday statement.

DeMint announced his support for Akin in a joint statement issued with former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) on Wednesday morning.

Roll Call moved the Missouri Senate race from a Tossup to Leans Democratic when Akin stayed in the race past the deadline to step aside. See all of our Senate race ratings here.