On Saturday night, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin held what an aide said would likely be the campaign's last campaign rally in St. Louis prior to Tuesday's general election.
At what his campaign described as a "Family Values Rally" at Westminster Christian Academy in Town and Country, Akin, currently the 2nd District U.S. Congressman from Wildwood, touched on familiar themes in his campaign against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO).
Citing McCaskill's record supporting President Obama'a healthcare reform and the federal stimulus bill, among other areas, the Wildwood Republican called McCaskill Obama's "strong right arm" in front of an audience geared toward religious conservatives.
Akin was introduced by former St. Charles County Executive Joe Ortwerth, who talked about serving with both McCaskill and Akin in the Missouri General Assembly in the 1980s. Ortweth pointed to what he called McCaskill's "liberal to ultra-liberal" voting record at that time and to a voting record as a U.S. Senator that was not that of a "middle of the road Missouri moderate."
The National Journal is shedding new light this weekend on Akin's record before he became a state representative, reporting that he was arrested a total of eight times as part of anti-abortion protests in Missouri and Illinois starting in 1985, before he was elected to the state legislature in 1988.
The campaign did not make Akin available to talk with reporters Saturday night, but senior adviser Rick Tyler called it "the world's most boring rap sheet," according to St. Louis Beacon reporter Jo Mannies. Tyler told Patch it was "a 25-year old charge."
Saturday's event also featured Christian recording artist Twila Paris and Grant Williams, the former St. Louis Ram, now the St. Louis Cardinals team chaplain. It was hosted by "Missouri Women Standing With Todd Akin," a group that came about in the days after Akin's controversial remarks about abortion and pregnancy.
At least one person in the audience felt the campaign should be going in another direction in the final days.
A woman named Margaret, who didn't want her last name used, sat eating the chili supper prior to the evening's festivities and described herself as a "radical", part of a group of Tea Party members who rally every Saturday morning at the corner of Highways K and N in St. Charles County.
"We don't want to preach to the choir," she said. "We should go where the Democrats are," she added, saying that she's been able to convince at least one Democrat to flip to the Akin column.
Tyler, the campaign strategist countered:
"During the campaign you go out and try to win over persuadables, those are people who could be swayed, who make up their minds and then in the end, in the last 10 days, you need to return to your base," he said.
McCaskill's final "Get out the vote" rally in St. Louis County will be Saturday at a Machinists union hall in Bridgeton.