"Todd Akin may have not been our first choice for Republican nominee in the race to replace Claire McCaskill," said spokesman Tyler Harber. "But congressman Akin plays an important role in securing the Senate chamber."
Among the protesters at Wednesday's rally in Kansas City was Neil Harris, a retired college teacher and McCaskill supporter who held a sign saying, "Todd and Newt (equals) Hypocritical Mass." Harris referred to Akin as "an idiot."
"His 13th century doctrine on women shutting down the possibility of pregnancy after rape seems to be far from reality," Harris said.
Akin supporter Kiley Chaney, a union bricklayer who drove an hour from rural Garden City to attend the rally, acknowledged that Akin had "made some blunders in the campaign." But Chaney said he was more concerned with McCaskill's ties to Obama and the large national debt.
"She's going to be a yes woman for Obama," said Chaney, later adding: "It's not fashionable to be for Akin, but I'm going to vote against McCaskill."
Salter reported from St. Louis.
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