Akin Optimistic about Missouri Race
With just about a week to go, embattled Republican Todd Akin feels optimistic about his chances to defeat incumbent Claire McCaskill in Missouri's bitter U.S. Senate race.
"I've had a sense of peace about it all along," Akin said. "I think we've run a good campaign."
Akin, a six-term congressman, sat down with CBN News at his St. Louis campaign headquarters to discuss the state of the campaign after his decision to stay in the race following controversial remarks he made about rape, which drew fire from Republicans and Democrats alike.
Resisting intense pressure to withdraw his candidacy, Akin first defied the party's top leaders and now the odds to stage a remarkable comeback that ultimately may affect whether Republicans or Democrats control the Senate.
"This race is not about me," he insisted. "This race is a choice of which America you want."
** CBN News will have more from our interview with Todd Akin on Monday's edition of "The 700 Club." **
He characterizes that choice as a vote in favor of expanding the scope and influence of the federal government versus defending and protecting liberty.
This week, another Senate candidate set off a firestorm after commenting about pregnancies resulting from rape during a recent debate: Indiana Republican Richard Mourdock. While some Republicans have distanced themselves from him, Mourdock has not faced similar calls to step down.
CBN News asked Akin why the GOP is treating both comments about rape differently.
"That's a really good question. You're asking the wrong guy," he replied. "You're going to have to talk to the party bosses about that."
Akin pivoted and addressed the larger issue of the merits of his pro-life stance, drawing a stark contrast with his opponent and those who support abortion rights.
"If you are attempting to destroy America and do the most harm to this nation, you would have to attack the idea that our Creator, that God himself, intended for us to have these blessings," Akin explained. "And second that our Creator meant us to be secure in our life so people couldn't be killing us. If you got rid of that idea, then you have reduced us to being like any other nation in the world."
God and American exceptionalism are themes Akin has been using to redirect his campaign and to cut into McCaskill's wide lead after their poll numbers flip-flopped.
The race has tightened in recent weeks, with a few polls showing Akin running neck and neck. One even has him edging McCaskill, while several others show McCaskill in the lead.
The biggest gap is the money race. Democrats have capitalized on the fallout from Akin's gaffe and turned it into a major cash advantage.
Meanwhile, Akin has been relying heavily on online contributions from people across the country since financial support from the party's major donors has dried up.
Still, he remains confident.
"We are aware of so many prayers from people all over the country wishing us well in this race," he said. "It's an important race -- it's one people are going to be watching."