By THE ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Rep. Todd Akin is taking the podium to concede his race with Sen. Claire McCaskill.
TV networks called the race for McCaskill a short time ago, pointing to returns that show her up handily with roughly one-third of precincts reporting and relatively few votes counted from Democratic strongholds in Missouri's urban areas.
Campaign spokesman Rick Tyler said Akin called McCaskill to concede and will be taking the podium momentarily. His supporters at the Doubletree Hotel in Chesterfield were crestfallen.
"Depressing," said Betty Wendland, a retired human resources manager from St. Charles. "I don't want to see McCaskill in the senate six more years. More of the same, depressing stuff. More of the the Obama stuff."
Only about one-fifth of precincts are reporting, but McCaskill has opened up sizeable leads in several key population centers that Republicans tend to win when they carry the state, including Clay County (in suburban Kansas City), Greene County (Springfield) and Buchanan County (St. Joseph).
Without strong performances there, and with most of the vote still uncounted in Democratic strongholds of St. Louis, St. Louis County and Kansas City, it appears hard for Akin to cobble together enough votes to carry the state.
Her supporters were thrilled with the news.
"I think it's because she actually stands for the average person here," said Jennifer Kubizewski, of St. Louis. "Obviously she didn't say something stupid that offended a lot of people. That didn't hurt her."