Rep. Todd Akin now has the Senate Conservatives Fund firmly on his side, as the powerful political action committee sent out its first fundraising plea on his behalf Thursday morning.
The PAC has been mulling over whether to assist Mr. Akin in his race against Sen. Claire McCaskill, even though the six-term congressman has secured congressional earmarks for his district and the group ordinarily supports only candidates who agree to an earmark ban.
But after sending out a survey yesterday asking supporters whether it should endorse Mr. Akin, the group said that 93 percent responded yes and pledged to give more than $290,000 to his campaign.
“We’ve heard you loud and clear, so we’re going to endorse him today and provide a way for you to immediately swing into action,” the PAC wrote in an email. “If you made a pledge to financially support Todd Akin’s campaign to defeat liberal Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), now is the time to fulfill that pledge.”
The PAC’s endorsement is a huge plus for Mr. Akin, who lost most of his national supporters last month after claiming that women who are victims of a “legitimate rape” aren’t likely to become pregnant. The group has raised more than $11 million for other Senate candidates this election cycle.
Like others who jumped in behind Mr. Akin after it became certain this week that he wouldn’t withdraw from the race, PAC officials said they’re getting involved because they want Mrs. McCaskill to be defeated.
And they took a jab at the National Republican Committee, which denounced Mr. Akin’s candidacy last month and doesn’t appear to be changing its mind.
“Conservative leaders like Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Jim DeMint are lining up behind Todd Akin, but the Republican establishment in Washington still refuses to lift a finger,” the email said. “That’s why the grassroots must rise up and fight back.”