Sen. Claire McCaskill and her opponent, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, are criss crossing Missouri in a bid for support from undecided voters.
During a stop in the Kansas City area, McCaskill spoke with KCTV5's Bonyen Lee. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee stumped for Akin as part of the "Repeal and Replace Claire McCaskill tour." Akin thus far has declined to speak one on one with KCTV5.
McCaskill, a Democrat, and Akin, a Republican, are locked in an increasingly vitriolic campaign.
"It's been tumultuous and interesting but, really, at the core of this, it's not that different. My job in this campaign is to explain to Missourians my record and draw the contrast between my record and Congressman Akin," McCaskill said.
The last week of the Democratic Senator's campaign has been riddled with pain - but not the political kind, but instead personal strife. McCaskill lost her mother, Betty Anne, Monday. It forced the senator off the campaign trail for a few crucial days.
"I feel like I have an obligation to answer questions. It's part of my job. I've always been comfortable doing that," McCaskill said.
Despite the controversy over Akin's legitimate rape comments, McCaskill said the race remains tight.
"This is a close state - always has been, always will be, but it's also a lot of folks are very independent and they make an independent decision in each race," McCaskill said.
The senator has made her share of enemies throughout her service. She voted in favor of President Barack Obama's health-care reform.
Missouri voters will be deciding whether to excuse the state from a state-based health care exchange system under the Affordable Care Act. If Proposition E passes, voters or the legislature would first have to approve the exchange.
She's also set herself apart from Akin when she voted in favor of the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which allows women to sue employers for equal pay.
"That's why it's important you look at Congressman Akin's views as it relates to those issues because he would be very painful in those regards," McCaskill said.
She said women voters in particular are offended by Akin's stances, including saying rape victims shouldn't be allowed to get emergency contraception.
"He doesn't believe in equal pay for equal work. He thinks (your) boss should have the freedom to discriminate," she said.
While her campaign ads focus on the "war on women" issues, she said this campaign is about much more.
"I don't think it's about male versus female or female issues versus male issues," she said. "I think it's about Missouri issues."
One of Akin's spokesmen attended a McCaskill rally in Kansas City on Friday. He told reporters the stimulus bill has been ineffective and proves McCaskill's policies fundamentally weak.
"Claire McCaskill and Barack Obama have a genuine belief that government can actually grow and create jobs. All government can do is move money from one person's pocket to another person's pocket. That doesn't create wealth, that doesn't create a service," Rick Tyler said.
Akin campaign officials say that Akin has remained competitive thanks to grassroots efforts and "old fashioned" campaigning techniques like door to door visits.
McCaskill contends she is a moderate in the Senate.
"We've got plenty of people on the two ends that want to yell at each other and Congressman Akin would be one of those on one of the ends," she said. "I'm in the middle where I work with Republicans and try to get things done."
Click here to read about former speaker Newt Gingrich campaigning for Akin earlier in the week.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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