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He added: “The question is when you get into just plain amendments that have gone through subcommittees and committees and things like that, as long as those are not directed to any particular company … those are things that, as we’ve talked to DeMint, we’re exactly on the same page using the same definition. So there’s been no change in our position. And no change in his position either.”

Hoskins said the group is looking “very seriously” at supporting Akin, because it appears he will not drop out, still has a good shot at defeating McCaskill and generally aligns ideologically with the organization.

Akin has apologized repeatedly since a TV interview aired Aug. 19 in which he suggested that women’s bodies have a natural defense against pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape.” After that remark, Akin lost the financial support of the Republican National Committee, the Republican senators’ political committee and the deep-pocketed Crossroads group affiliated with Republican strategist Karl Rove. That nixed millions of dollars of planned TV advertising.

Since then, Akin has raised nearly $600,000 through a small-dollar, online appeal that has cast his candidacy as an anti-establishment crusade against both Republican Party bosses and President Barack Obama’s administration.

During the primary, Akin had been criticized by Republican rivals for supporting earmarks. Akin responded with a TV ad in which the wife of a military veteran said her husband’s life was saved by a newly armored Humvee financed at Akin’s initiative through “what some call earmarks.”

McCaskill has co-sponsored legislation with DeMint to ban earmarks, and her position has often put her at odds with her own party’s leadership.

McCaskill’s campaign suggested that Akin has shifted his views on earmarks in hopes of getting money for his Senate campaign.

“What kind of Washington politician runs an ad defending earmarks in the primary, then two months later, turns around and changes his position on a dime, for a dime? This is exactly the kind of transactional politics that makes people sick,” said McCaskill spokesman Caitlin Legacki.

Salter reporter from Kirkwood, Mo.