A back-of-the-envelope calculation, with less than a month before Election Day, shows third-party groups supporting Sen. Claire McCaskill are far outspending independent groups in for Rep. Todd Akin.
Since the August primary, FEC records show, outside groups have spent roughly $2.7 million to either support McCaskill or oppose Akin. The money has come largely from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Women Vote!, and the SEIU's PAC.
American Crossroads and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have stayed out of Missouri since the primary, at least with major TV buys for Akin or against McCaskill. Third-party spending on his behalf totals roughly $420,000 -- Freedom's Defense Fund, NRA's PAC, and the small-business NFIB has also spent some money.
McCaskill groups are outspending Akin groups by more than 6 to 1.
In short, it looks as if Akin will remain heavily outgunned on the state's TV screens in the final weeks of the race. He's always trailed McCaskill head-to-head in fundraising, and had to spend on a tough primary. By mid-July Akin had just $532,000 in hand; McCaskill, almost $3.5 million. And she raised $5.8 million in the third quarter.
New fundraising numbers should come out next week for the campaigns. Third-party spending is filed as it is spent.