APNewsBreak: Mo. Farm Bureau keeps support of Akin
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Farm Bureau reaffirmed its endorsement of Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin on Tuesday after the Republican congressman made remarks about women's bodies being able to avoid pregnancy in cases of what he called "legitimate rape."
The Farm Bureau's decision comes just over a month after members of its political action committees voted by an overwhelming 99 percent to support Akin over Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.
In an unprecedented move for the Farm Bureau, its political committees decided to reconsider their endorsement after Akin's remarks about rape aired Aug. 19 on a St. Louis television station. Akin has apologized repeatedly since then and has rejected numerous calls by top Republicans — including GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney — to drop out of the Senate race so that the state Republican committee can pick a replacement candidate.
Since his remarks, Akin also has lost the support of some deep-pocketed political groups, including the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the conservative Crossroads group affiliated with Republican strategist Karl Rove. Both entities dropped plans to air millions of dollars of ads in Missouri. Akin has instead turned to soliciting small-dollar donations over the Internet.
The Missouri Farm Bureau's endorsement can result in contributions to candidates. But with branches covering all Missouri counties, the Farm Bureau's greatest strength often has been its network of rural voters.
Since it began making U.S. Senate endorsements in 1982, the Missouri Farm Bureau has always backed the Republican candidate.