Katie Pavlich
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The Tea Party claimed another victory last night, this time in Missouri for the chance to run against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Rep. Todd Akin, who played up his tea party credentials and conservative appeal, broke out from a three-way Missouri Republican primary on Tuesday to earn the right to take on Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, setting up one of the most closely watched Senate races of 2012.

Akin won a contest defined by which candidate was the most conservative. In doing so, he beat out Sarah Palin's candidate of choice, former state treasurer Sarah Steelman, and John Brunner, a businessman who poured more than $7.5 million of his own money into the race.

"The choice is clear in November," Akin said in a victory speech. "The big-spending, budget-busting, job-killing liberal or the less-spending, balanced-budget, job-creating conservative."

In an interview with The Associated Press, McCaskill said, "I don't know that Missouri voters will ever have more of a contrast." She added: "The issue here is not whether you can label him a conservative, but whether or not he is on the fringe -- a very extreme candidate. I believe he is."

This is Sarah Palin's first "loss" of the year, she is now 4 for 5 in terms of endorsements winning.

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Katie Pavlich

Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is also the author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up.

“ABSOLUTELY DEVASTATING! Intrepid investigative journalist Katie Pavlich rips the lid off Team Obama’s murderous corruption and anti-Second Amendment zealotry" says Michelle Malkin.

"Katie Pavlich draws back the curtain on a radical administration that put Mexican and American lives at risk for no discernible reason other than to advance an ideological agenda." - David Limbaugh

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Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography