McCaskill: Record Haul, Polling Gain

Photograph by Christian Gooden/St. Louis Pos-Dispatch/AP Photo

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri speaks at the Missouri Farm Bureau in Jefferson City, Mo.

Good news for Sen. Claire McCaskill: The embattled Missouri Democrat raked in $5.8 million for her re-election campaign in the past three months, a sign that she is widening the money gap with Republican Rep. Todd Akin.

Not so great news: A new poll shows the race still close even though she’s opened up a lead.

McCaskill’s third-quarter fundraising total, disclosed today by her campaign spokeswoman Caitlin Legacki, is more than twice as much as what McCaskill raised in the same period in 2006, when she defeated incumbent Republican Jim Talent. According to Legacki and local news reports, the sum is the most a Missouri Senate candidate has ever raised in the July 1-Sept. 30 period. Legacki declined to say how much money was on hand as of Sept. 30.

McCaskill got a boost Aug. 19 when Akin said in a televised interview that “legitimate rape” rarely results in pregnancy. Akin’s remark prompted party leaders, including Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, to call on him to leave the race. Akin refused.

Akin campaign spokesman Ryan Hite did not respond to a request for comment or to disclose Akin’s fundraising haul. The National Republican Senatorial Committee and Crossroads GPS, a non-profit group that former George W. Bush political adviser Karl Rove helped create, have said they won’t put money into the race because of Akin’s comments.

A Public Policy Polling survey released today found that McCaskill has a six percentage point lead over Akin. The poll of 700 likely Missouri voters was conducted Oct. 1-3 and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.7 percent. The group’s last poll, conducted Aug. 28-29, showed the race virtually tied, with McCaskill leading Akin by one percentage point.

All the numbers will come out: Candidates’ third-quarter campaign finance reports are due at the Federal Election Commission by Oct. 15.


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