Missouri Congressman Todd Akin thanked "God our Creator" for blessing his campaign in a victory speech. With about 91 percent of precincts reporting, Akin had 36 percent of the vote, St. Louis businessman John Brunner about 30 percent and former state Senator Sarah Steelman 29 percent.
"The choice is clear in November," Akin said in a statement on Tuesday night. "The big spending, budget-busting, job-killing liberal or the less spending, balanced budget, job-creating conservative."
McCaskill, who is struggling in a state that has gone increasingly Republican after being a bellwether in presidential elections for a century, wasted no time in responding.
"Throughout the primary campaign, Akin repeatedly gave voice to positions that show how extreme he is, and how willing he would be to throw middle-class families under the bus to protect tax breaks for the mega-wealthy and tax giveaways to Big Oil," McCaskill said in a statement.
McCaskill's support of Democratic President Barack Obama's healthcare reform has hurt her, said Steve Glorioso, a political consultant who has worked on past McCaskill campaigns.
Brunner had never run for political office and bankrolled his own campaign to join a string of conservative newcomers who have challenged established Republicans but Brunner came up short.Copyright 2013 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.