Take a look at the three ads that Claire McCaskill recently mounted against, respectively, the three GOPers locked in a primary contest to be her challenger this fall. (Michael Berson has posted all three ads here.) Now consider Politico's claim that the ads reveal that McCaskill would prefer to face Rep. Todd Akin (R-2) next fall. In regard to the Akin ad, Politico's David Catenese writes:
While the McCaskill campaign is framing the spot as part of an aggressive effort to go on offense against Akin and his two GOP rivals ahead of their Aug. 7 primary, the precise language invoked is simultaneously meant to send a signal to Republican primary voters.
A narrator carefully uses a string of descriptions designed to appeal to conservatives before landing blows meant to undercut his appeal with the general electorate.
According to Catenese, the suite of ad builds up Akin's conservative credentials while savaging those of rivals John Brunner and Sarah Steelman in an effort to render them less appealing to the wingers in Missouri.
While the entire GOP field is notably lame, Akin's been a do-lilttle-to-nothing congressman, notable mostly for his evangelical fanaticism and extreme right-wing ideology. The few times he's actually gotten national attention, it's usually because he's done something that suggests he wouldn't be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. In a state-wide race, he might indeed be easy pickings.