(CNN) - Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill won re-election Tuesday after defeating Republican Rep. Todd Akin, according to a CNN projection. With 24 percent of the estimated vote counted, McCaskill led Akin 53 percent to 40 percent.
McCaskill's victory is a major loss for Republicans who once saw her seat as a possible takeover target in their bid to win majority control of the Senate.
But Akin's campaign never recovered from his controversial comments in August when he said women who are victims of "legitimate" rape can biologically reject pregnancy. At the time, the St. Louis congressman led narrowly in the polls and was favored to win the seat from the first-term senator, a close ally of President Obama's.
Seizing on Akin's comments, the centrist McCaskill took a lead in the polls the rest of the race. GOP leaders in Washington condemned Akin's remarks and pulled funding for his campaign although they said they still preferred him to win.
Last week, Akin got an influx of funding that allowed him to mount a late, if unsuccessful, advertising push. Speculation swirled that the National Republican Senatorial Committee had reversed course and decided to donate to Akin, in a last ditch effort to win the seat. NRSC officials would not confirm nor deny they provided the funds.
I'm too overwhelmed tonight with tears.
Congratulations Ms. Caskill. I am so proud of you.
I would have hoped that the race would have been a larger win for McCaskill. Akin has no business being in a position to make public policy since he has little understanding of people and biology.
The Akin for Senate campaign called me in Nebraska over 15 times requesting money since October 9. Mike Hucklebee was encouraging outside donors to help Akin win.
Im suprised Akin hasent lost by more votes, why would someone vote for that guy?
Calling McCaskill a "centrist" is laughable. You must not be from around here.
Romney GONE. Akin GONE. Mourdock GONE. HAPPY DAY. HAPPY DAY
I have read, and heard, some really heinous things in my time, but never have I read such utter nonsense as what this Akin has stated. He got the defeat he deserves. Now I hope he will spend some time helping out the victims of assault and child abuse. This man needs to grow up, and get a life, and let it be a life FAR AWAY from politics.
I guess the people of Missouri are not as dumb as I thought they were. Didn't vote for the President but at least you got rid of this brainless man.
I find it interesting and encouraging that the two Republican "gentlemen" running for Senate who had so much to say on rape and womens bodies who favour forcing them to have rapists babies...are getting dare i say it ass pounded right now...to quote one of them it must be "all part of God's plan" . Hahaha. Poetry.
As the father of six girls and grandfather of seven, I can only say - thank you, Mr. Akin. Your obdurate decision to remain in the race accomplished two goals - it kept Claire McCaskill as Missouri's senator and got rid of you as my Congressman. In addition, you made an important contribution to our political discourse - the concept of "legitimate rape."
It was a legitimate vote. And it was God's will.