Katie Pavlich

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.

Katie Pavlich

Katie Pavlich is the Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is a New York Times Best Selling author. Her latest book Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women, was published on July 8, 2014.