Todd Akin, a 6-term congressman, has won the Missouri Republican senate primary, winning 36 percent of the vote. Akin got an unexpected boost at the end of the race: Claire McCaskill ran ads against all three Republicans, but her “attack ads” toward Akin highlighted his conservatism, giving the impression Akin was the candidate she preferred to run against. Akin’s win is also a nice triumph for Mike Huckabee, who had endorsed him.
John Brunner, the business leader who spent millions of his own money on the race, finished at 30 percent, while former state treasurer Sarah Steelman, who had been endorsed by Sarah Palin, finished third at 29 percent. Steelman is the first senate candidate Palin has endorsed this cycle who has lost in the primary.