Super PAC officials, like Akin campaign aides, argue that once Akin is locked onto the ballot, the dynamic of the race will change. Although Democrats are widely expected to step up negative advertising against Akin after that date, Akin backers hope that once he is indisputably the GOP candidate through November, money and support may return for the pragmatic reason that Republicans will struggle to regain the Senate without competing in Missouri.
"I don't know if Todd Akin can win," the official said. "I know that he hurt himself. I know that the party hurt him very badly ... I think everyone is going to be watching very closely over the next 10 days to see how the race shifts and what else is happening on the map."
DeMint told The Hill
this week that that he would consider helping Akin and that the NRSC should consider doing the same. "I'm certainly looking at the race now Todd's a good conservative; he's been a good representative for a long time. He did make a mistake and said it was a mistake," DeMint said.
While DeMint no longer technically heads Senate Conservatives Fund, due to its conversion in July, he can influence the group's decisions, and the group would be unlikely to back a candidate DeMint did not support. But the group was already considering supporting Akin without public or private encouragement from the senator.
The PAC and the Club for Growth attacked Akin over earmarks during the Missouri GOP primary this summer. SCF spokesperson Matt Hoskins called
Akin "weak because he's too liberal on spending and earmarks."
But the SCF official said Friday that differences with Akin came down mostly to Akin not realizing that his view that Congress has power to redirect federal funds does not preclude a ban on geographically targeted earmarks.
McCaskill spokesperson Caitlan Legacki
on Friday said Akin's apparent shift contradicts his claims to be a principled candidate. "He's willing to abandon his long-standing beliefs just for money," Legacki said. "What kind of Washington politician runs an ad defending earmarks in the primary, then two months later, turns around and changes his position on a dime, for a dime? This is exactly the kind of transactional politics that makes people sick."