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Missouri Republican raises $1 million in online donations for Senate race

U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin speaks to the media after a rally outside the Missouri Capitol with the New Women's Group in Jefferson City,
U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin speaks to the media after a rally outside the Missouri Capitol with the New Women's Group in Jefferson City,

By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) - Todd Akin, the Republican candidate in Missouri's closely watched Senate race, said on Monday his campaign has raised $1 million in online donations.

Akin made the announcement and thanked donors on Twitter.

A six-term congressman from St. Louis, Akin is trying to unseat Democrat Claire McCaskill in what could be a pivotal race for control of the U.S. Senate.

Akin drew national attention and strong rebukes from prominent members of his own party in August when he said women have a biological defense against pregnancies that might be caused by "legitimate rapes." He retracted the comment and apologized, but was urged by leading Republicans to step aside.

Late last week, McCaskill said she had raised $5.8 million in the quarter ended September 30. Akin has not reported his total funds raised in the quarter, but both candidates must file reports by October 15 disclosing revenue and spending.

The $1 million raised online was an "individual goal" and not tied to the quarterly timeline, Akin spokesman Ryan Hite said in an e-mail. Last week, Akin reached out to supporters on Twitter, asking them to make contributions from as little as $3 to help him reach $1 million.

Some large groups, such as the National Republican Senatorial Committee, had pulled funding from Akin after his comments on rape. That group and some other state and national organizations have since endorsed him but it remains to be seen whether he will receive their financial backing.

At a campaign appearance on Saturday, Akin said support from establishment Republicans is returning but is mixed.

"It all depends on who you are talking to," Akin said. "We have a whole lot of people on board, some of them more willing than others."

(Editing by James B. Kelleher)

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