Republican Rep. Todd Akin, running for U.S. Senate from Missouri, said he's not very clear about whether GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is a conservative.

"I don't really know where Romney is," the congressman said, according to Politico. "I think it's hard to pin down where he is."

With friends like these, who needs Democrats?

Akin's own conservatism has been a bit of headache for the Senate hopeful lately. Worried about the lackluster crop of candidates looking to unseat Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Republicans are trying to recruit a fourth candidate to join the field of challengers.

Republican leaders urged state auditor Tom Schweich, who is considered more liberal, to make a bid for the seat. Akin fired back by saying there was nothing weak about the current GOP field, and knocking the "liberal wing of the Republican party."

Akin is being challenged in the primary by businessman John Brunner and former state senator Sarah Steelman. A Rasmussen poll released Friday found that all the leading GOP Senate candidates are polling ahead of McCaskill.

10 more election stories from beyond the presidential field:

Ed Case Tries To Shake Up Quiet Senate Race In Hawaii [Honolulu Civil Beat]

Dean Heller Rejects Shelly Berkley's Ad Ban Proposal [Las Vegas Sun]

Renacci, Mandel, Weddington Show Need For More Transparency [Progress Ohio]

Bob Kerrey Fails On Residency, But Makes Ballot [WOWT.com]

Fundraising Trends Emerge In Virginia Senate Race [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

Joe Carvin Exits U.S. Senate Race In New York [Politiker]

Adam Schiff Ditches Neutrality, Endorses Howard Berman In Race With Brad Sherman [La Canada Valley Sun]

After Gary Ackerman's Exit, Candidates Scramble To Get In The Race [City And State]

Jason Altmire Leads Mark Critz In Own Poll [National Journal]

Special Vote To Replace Jay Inslee May Come On Regular Election Day [Seattle Times]

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