* In 2012, Akin was one of 24 to vote against the Training and Research for Autism Improvements Nationwide Act; 147 Republicans voted for it. A GOP press release described this as an effort to “advance training and education for autism service providers” so that “autistic children and adults can lead fuller, happier and healthier lives.”
* In 2010, Akin was one of only 13 to vote No on a motion “expressing the support of the House of Representatives for the goals and ideals of the National School Lunch Program.” 155 Republicans voted for it.
* In 2009, Akin was one of 11 to vote against a measure “expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that providing breakfast in schools through the National School Breakfast Program has a positive impact on classroom performance.” 152 Republicans voted for it (fixed).
* In 2004, Aiken was one of only five to vote against the Child Nutrition Improvement and Integrity Act; 217 Republicans voted for it. A GOP press release said the measure would “ensure more effective and efficient use of federal resources targeted to providing nutritional services for vulnerable children.”
* Also in 2004, Akin was one of 19 to vote No on revisions and extensions to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, a measure that authorized increased federal spending to expand the number of such clubs. 185 Republicans voted for it.
As a rep, Akin's been a nobody lunatic backbencher. As a Senator, he'd be a disaster. I was extremely concerned that the GOP would have nominated Moose Lady's pick, Sarah Steelman, who probably would have an easy time of beating Claire. But as with GOP Tea Party nutjob Richard Mourdock's race versus Democrat Joe Donnelly, it's the return of the Hoffman Effect: the GOP candidate is so far to the right that even in a red state the race is effectively dead even.
We'll see how it turns out, but these are two winnable races for the Democrats and they very well could be the surprise wins that allow them to keep the Senate in 2012.