JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Abandoned by deep-pocketed national groups, Missouri Rep. Todd Akin is passing a collection plate among his remaining supporters, asking for a few dollars at a time in hopes of sustaining a Senate campaign threatened by his remarks about women's bodies and "legitimate rape."
Akin said Thursday he had taken in more than $100,000 in a two-day online fundraising drive that he portrayed as a grass roots effort to circumvent "party bosses" who demanded that he drop out. But the six-term congressman will need much more than that to replenish a campaign account already diminished by a hotly contested primary.
Akin has to go forward without the firepower of well-funded political groups that had planned to pummel Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill with negative television ads.
If his money runs dry, Akin could confront a difficult choice: end his candidacy or adopt a bare-bones strategy relying on social media and socially conservative activists to counter the millions of dollars of mass media advertising expected from McCaskill and her allies.
First, Akin has to repair his reputation with fellow conservatives. Federal records show Akin has purchased enough air time to run apology ads in Missouri's biggest TV markets through at least Monday.
He's also working to mend fences. On Thursday, Akin attended a meeting of the conservative Council for National Policy in Tampa. He has agreed not to attend the Republican National Convention.
Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee issued a fundraising plea for Akin on Thursday, accusing the "Republican establishment" of a "carefully orchestrated and systematic attack."
In Washington, the U.S. Capitol Police agency is investigating a reported threat against Akin.
A spokeswoman, Lt. Kimberly Schneider, says there is "an active, open investigation" into the reported threat but said she could not discuss details regarding security of members of Congress.