(Newsroom America) -- Tea Party-backed Rep. Todd Akin won a three-way GOP primary battle on Tuesday to face Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill in November for a U.S. Senate seat a number of political analysts say could fall to Republicans.
Akin managed to win in a contest to see which candidate could depict themselves as the most conservative in a battleground state that is dominated by the GOP but led by a Democratic governor.
"In doing so, he beat out Sarah Palin's candidate of choice, former state treasurer Sarah Steelman, and John Brunner, a businessman who poured more than $7.5 million of his own money into the race," Fox News reported.
In his victory speech, Akin laid out the differences between him and the other candidates.
"The choice is clear in November," he said. "The big-spending, budget-busting, job-killing liberal or the less-spending, balanced-budget, job-creating conservative."
In a separate interview with the Associated Press, McCaskill said, "I don't know that Missouri voters will ever have more of a contrast. The issue here is not whether you can label him a conservative, but whether or not he is on the fringe -- a very extreme candidate. I believe he is."
Akin, 65, is a former Army officer, engineer and state lawmaker. He has billed himself as having one of the more conservative voting records in the Missouri House. He first won a seat to the U.S. House in 2000 by narrowly defeating a field of five GOP contenders.
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