Shock, surprise and disappointment: those are the feelings expressed by the supporters of Republican Congressman Todd Akin at his campaign’s watch party after hearing him concede the race for the U.S. Senate. He lost to Democrat incumbent Claire McCaskill by nearly 421,000 votes.
Akin began his concession speech by saying, “Things don’t always turn out the way you think they’re going to.”
One supporter echoed his sense of surprise. “I was confident that he was going to win.” When asked to explain her confidence, she pointed to the Affordable Care Act. “Obamacare alone … just that one issue and how many Missourians did not want it and how Claire McCaskill voted for it anyway. That’s what the shocking part of it is.”
Akin had been favored by several points over McCaskill before saying in August a doctor had told him a woman’s body can shut down a pregnancy in a case of rape. Addison Todd of St. Charles considered the role those comments played in the outcome. “I don’t know that it necessarily cost him, as in that was the entirety of his loss, but he certainly would have had a better chance without the comments obviously. But, I know that there’s a strong base of people that supported him despite the comments even though the party kinda turned their back on him and then came back a little bit.”
Campaign Staffer Samuel Saffa of Defiance says it’s particularly surprising when considering how the vote for President went in Missouri. “I was, frankly, shocked to see Mitt Romney come across so strongly in Missouri and Todd Akin to lose … I think it came out a million, plus votes for Romney and we barely scraped the 600,000 mark for Akin.”
Besides expressing frustration at the loss, Akin’s backers said he stuck to his principles and said their candidate left no doubt where he stood on issues.