Akin: Mo. Senate race about reclaiming 'God-given values'

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Congressman Todd Akin won the hotly-contested Republican nomination for Missouri's U.S. Senate seat Tuesday night. He will challenge incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill in November.

In a speech to his supporters Tuesday night, he said the race against McCaskill is really about "reclaiming God-given values, rebuilding the American dream and restoring the America that we love."

McCaskill called herself an underdog in the race against Akin.

"But I'm really comfortable being the underdog because I almost always have been," she told 41 Action News while waiting for election results to come in. "So I got to get out there and show Missourians I'm fighting for them."

Akin currently serves as the U.S. Representative for Missouri's 2nd congressional district in suburban St. Louis.

His early lead in the night never wavered, as former state treasurer Sarah Steelman and St. Louis businessman John Brunner battled it out for second.

Brunner brought in 30 percent of the vote. Steelman was close behind with 29 percent.

While there was never a clear front-runner in the race between the three self-proclaimed conservatives, Brunner had consistently led in the polls.

The most recent numbers put Brunner ahead with 35 percent, Akin with 30 percent, and Steelman trailing at 25 percent with 10 percent undecided, according to the Public Policy Polling report.

The race has drawn national attention -- and endorsements.

Akin was backed by former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, Steelman was supported by former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and Brunner won the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

It also lit up social media, with the hashtag #MOprimary and Akin trending nationally on Twitter after he was named the presumed winner.

As Akin's lead continued to grow Tuesday night, Brunner's campaign manager Jon Seaton said they were all staying positive. He said that whatever the outcome, he's proud of race they've run.

Steelman conceded to Akin just after 10 p.m., publicly congratulating him on winning the nomination.

Brunner conceded a short time later.

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