McCaskill defeats Akin to retain US Senate seat

McCaskill won with 54.7 percent of the vote.
Maneater File Photo

Sen. Claire McCaskill was re-elected to her U.S. Senate seat for Missouri on Tuesday.

McCaskill won the majority of the state with 54.7 percent of the vote against Republican State Rep. Todd Akin’s 39.2 percent.

In Boone County, McCaskill won by 59.4 percent to Akin’s 32.6 percent.

McCaskill won with large margins in the metropolitan areas of Missouri. In Kansas City, McCaskill won 81 percent to Akin’s 15.5 percent, and in St. Louis County, McCaskill won 64.4 to Akin’s 31.5 percent.

McCaskill was initially considered a vulnerable candidate, but Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments in August hurt his image.

This Senate race was influential in the balance of power between the two parties. Democrats narrowly won the Senate majority with a 51-seat majority, along with two elected independents.

Libertarian candidate Jonathan Dine received about 6 percent of the state’s votes.

Dine is a two-time felon — the first for identity theft in 2005 and the second for possession of marijuana in 2006. As a felon, he is unable to run for a state office per Missouri law, but there is nothing in the Constitution that bans felons from running for U.S. Senate.

This year, Missouri voted 54 to 44 percent for Republican candidate Mitt Romney, with 94 percent of the votes reported. McCaskill, a Democrat, won by an even greater margin over Akin: 54 to 40 percent.

At 9:08 p.m. Tuesday, NBC and CBS declared the incumbent McCaskill the winner of the race for U.S. Senate. Seven minutes later, CNN projected a McCaskill win.

Akin called McCaskill to concede the Senate seat shortly after 9:30 p.m.

“With a stubborn determination, tenacity and a refusal to give up, we showed the country what Missouri is made of,” McCaskill said.

She said she recognized she did not get every vote. She said she goes to Washington first as a Missourian and will be a senator who continues to work across the aisle.

“I stand in awe of your passion and your commitment and your patriotism and your determination that you are going to have a voice in the United States Senate that will make you proud,” she said.

When McCaskill was declared the winner, votes from neither St. Louis County nor Kansas City had been counted.

“Guess what, Mom?” she said. “We finally won rural Missouri.”

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