Akin, McCaskill both courting Republicans in Mo.

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Sen. Patty Murray, chairwoman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, described the evolving position of the Republican committee as "absolutely shameful." The Democratic committee already has spent about $1 million on TV ads in Missouri and has reserved $4.3 million of additional advertising between Oct. 9 and Election Day.

As the dropout deadline passed, McCaskill began running an ad in Missouri highlighting Akin's remark about rape as the culmination of comments he made over the past year-and-a-half expressing criticism of Social Security, Medicare, the federal minimum wage and federally financed student loans. But McCaskill's campaign may not pummel TV viewers by repeatedly re-broadcasting Akin's rape remark. Rather, McCaskill plans to use it to help illustrate a broader narrative against Akin.

On Wednesday, for example, Democrats were highlighting Akin's position on earmarks instead of his rape remarks. Missouri Democratic Party Chairman Mike Sanders, a former prosecutor, said he had filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission and the Office of Congressional Ethics alleging Akin had solicited financial support from the Senate Conservatives Fund in exchange for switching his position on earmarks.

Akin has used earmarks in the past, and the Senate Conservatives Fund supports a ban on earmarks, which allot specific amounts of money to specific purposes in a specific state or congressional district. Akin said earlier this week that he supports the earmark ban.

Akin campaign adviser Rick Tyler said the Democratic complaint was "baseless" and "designed to distract voters from Claire McCaskill's liberal voting record."

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