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Claire McCaskill Defeats Todd Akin in Missouri Senate Race

Claire McCaskill Headshot - P 2012

The Democratic incumbent, who received support from Steven Spielberg, Sally Field and other Hollywood A-listers, was trailing in the polls until her Republican challenger made his infamous "legitimate rape" comment.

Claire McCaskill has been declared the winner in the Missouri Senate race.

The Democratic incumbent defeated her Republican challenger, Rep. Todd Akin, on Tuesday night to retain her Senate seat.

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McCaskill, who is pro-choice and a supporter of health care reform, seemed headed for defeat in deeply red Missouri until Akin began discussing his views on rape and pregnancy.

In August -- while arguing that abortion should be illegal, even for rape victims -- he said that victims of "legitimate rape" rarely get pregnant because the female body "has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Steven Spielberg, Kate Capshaw and Susan Sarandon were early Hollywood donors to McCaskill. Others on board include Sally Field, Kevin Kline, Marlo Thomas and Barbra Streisand.

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With Sherrod Brown and McCaskill the projected winners in the Ohio and Missouri Senate races, respectively, the GOP now cannot recapture the Senate.

McCaskill, a former state auditor, was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006.