After winning a primary contest to become the GOP's Senate candidate… (Christian Gooden / St. Louis…)
Todd Akin, after defying party leadership with his decision to remain as the GOP candidate in the Missouri Senate race, has a new problem that could derail his rogue candidacy: money.
The Missouri congressman had already been outspent more than 4-to-1 by his Democratic opponent, Sen. Claire McCaskill, before he thrust himself into the national spotlight by declaring that women can't get pregnant from "legitimate rape."
Tuesday's coordinated effort to persuade Akin to drop out of the race saw the deep pockets that Akin could have relied on -- the National Republican Senatorial Committee and outside groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS -- pledge that they won't spend a dollar to help him win.
So Akin is calling on small-dollar donors to help "fight the party bosses."
PHOTOS: "Legitimate rape" and other disastrous quotes
"The media is against us. The Washington elites are against us. The party bosses are against us," Akin says in an email plea to supporters. "Will you help my fight back by chipping-in $5 today?"
This underdog narrative seems to be the only option for a candidate who has managed -- in just one sentence and two days of poor damage control -- to alienate himself from a party that once saw him as its best hope at claiming control of the Senate.
Though he stunned the Republican establishment by refusing to back out of the race, Akin seems to believe that voters won't be so quick to shun him.
"I believe in God, and I've asked him for forgiveness for what I've said," Akin wrote. "I've asked the people of Missouri for forgiveness, too. For anyone serving in a position of public trust, those are the only two authorities that should matter -- as a Christian, God is the ultimate authority. As a public servant, voters are who I answer to.”
But the question isn't if -- it’s when -- he'll have to rethink that strategy. Akin had just $532,000 cash on hand in late July. And he had to spend more than $150,000 this week on an apology ad that will air in seven Missouri media markets. Meanwhile, Democrats have a renewed interest in pouring money into defending the seat, which had seemed all but lost just days ago.
Akin can still withdraw from the race. He has until Sept. 25 to do so, but it would require a court order.
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