JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Abandoned by deep-pocketed national groups, Missouri Rep. Todd Akin is passing a collection plate among his remaining supporters, asking for a few dollars at a time in hopes of sustaining a Senate campaign jeopardized by his remarks about women's bodies and "legitimate rape."

Akin claimed Thursday to have taken in more than $100,000 during a two-day online fundraising drive that he portrayed as a grassroots effort to circumvent "party bosses" who demanded that he drop out. But the six-term congressman will need much more than that to replenish a campaign account already diminished by a hotly contested primary.

"It's very difficult, when you have the limited base we have in Missouri, to send emails out asking for $3 at a time," said Pat Thomas, secretary of the Missouri Republican State Committee who has worked as a coordinator for numerous candidates. "I don't know how to build a war chest to do that."

Akin now has to go forward without the firepower of well-funded political groups that had planned to pummel Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill with negative television ads.

If his money runs dry, Akin could confront a difficult choice: re-evaluate whether to remain in the race or adopt a bare-bones strategy relying on social media and socially conservative activists to counter the millions of dollars of mass media advertising expected from McCaskill and her allies.

First, Akin has to repair his reputation with fellow conservatives and, according to Thomas, "get back to the point where people think you're credible."

Federal records show Akin has purchased enough air time to run apology ads in Missouri's biggest TV markets through at least Monday. Akin's campaign said Thursday that it has spent more than $200,000 on the statewide apology commercials while ad trackers for his Democratic opposition described it as a $277,000 effort.

He's also working to mend fences. On Thursday, Akin attended a meeting of the conservative Council for National Policy in Tampa, Fla., site of the Republican National Convention, which he has agreed not to attend. He tweeted that his Wednesday fundraising goal had been met.

"Thousands of people stepped up and helped us raise over $100,000! The message is clear ... voters should pick candidates, not party bosses," Akin said.

He then sent out a new fundraising email asking supporters to chip in $5 toward a goal of raising an additional $25,000. Earlier in the week, he pleaded for $3 donations.

Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee also issued a fundraising plea for Akin on Thursday, accusing the "Republican establishment" of a "carefully orchestrated and systematic attack." If the national GOP and the "money-rich" political action committees "won't help Todd Akin get us to the majority, then we'll do it without them," Huckabee wrote.

Akin campaign spokesman Ryan Hite declined to say exactly how much has been raised by the online contributions, but he said they were just part of Akin's fundraising strategy, which still includes efforts to get larger donations from more traditional sources.

Akin's campaign has not revealed how much money it has left. Before Missouri's primary, financial papers showed he had a little over $530,000 as of July 18. But he has spent steadily on ads since then. The next quarterly report is not due until Oct. 15, barely three weeks before the general election.

After winning the primary, Akin gained quick backing from national Republican and conservative groups focused on ousting McCaskill. But that support evaporated after Akin was asked in an interview that aired Sunday on St. Louis television station KTVI whether his general opposition to abortion extended to women who have been raped.

"From what I understand from doctors, that's really rare," Akin said in the interview. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Since his comments, Akin has received numerous threats against him, his family and his staff, said Akin's congressional spokesman Steve Taylor. The U.S. Capitol Police confirmed Thursday that it has "an active, open investigation" into a threat against Akin.

The chairman of the Republican National Committee has urged Akin to quit the Senate race, as has presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, his vice presidential pick Paul Ryan and every living Republican who has represented Missouri in the Senate.

Although it still has TV advertising time reserved in Missouri, the National Republican Senatorial Committee says it will pull $5 million of planned ads if Akin stays in the race. The conservative Crossroads group, associated with Republican strategist Karl Rove, also halted its anti-McCaskill ads and said it will pull out of Missouri if Akin doesn't go.

FreedomWorks for America, a powerful organizer among tea party activists, had been likely to support Akin in the general election with door-to-door canvassers, phone calls, mailed fliers, yard signs and online advertising. Now the group has joined the chorus calling for Akin to give up.

He's getting the cold shoulder from other national organizations that typically support Republicans.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has aired TV ads against McCaskill, has no plans for further involvement in Missouri's Senate race, a spokeswoman said.

The conservative Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund, which both shied away from Akin in the primary because of his support for earmarked spending, have shown no inclination to come to his aid.

But Akin still has the backing of some anti-abortion groups.

The Republican National Coalition for Life still supports Akin and could direct money his way before the general election, said coalition Director Dianne Edmondson. But she acknowledged that the group does not have deep finances. It gave $1,000 to Akin on July 31.

Missouri Right to Life remains staunchly behind Akin. But it has not typically waged big-dollar TV blitzes, either.

The political arm of the Family Research Council has already contributed to Akin and plans to try to fill part of his advertising vacuum.

The council's Faith Family Freedom Fund cannot match the $5 million that the Republican senatorial committee had planned to spend, acknowledged Chairman Connie Mackey. But "we think we've been pretty successful in going into some states on controversial candidates and issues."

Akin and the council hope that support for his campaign can snowball just as suddenly as it disintegrated.

"As it becomes clear that he is going to hang in there and be the candidate," Mackey said, "I would expect other groups go public with their support."

Also on HuffPost:

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  • Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.)

    "Well, I thought his comments were a little bit outrageous," she <a href="http://www.kjzz.org/content/1208/gov-brewer-akin-comments-little-bit-outrageous-doesnt-call-candidate-drop-out-race" target="_hplink">told KJZZ's Mark Brodie</a>. "I'm not in a position to [decide] whether it's right for the party to pull funding, I mean, those people there raise the money, they get to spend it however they wish."

  • Mitt Romney

    "As I said yesterday, Todd Akin's comments were offensive and wrong and he should very seriously consider what course would be in the best interest of our country," said Romney in a statement. "Today, his fellow Missourians urged him to step aside, and I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race." Earlier, from an <a href="http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/314452/romney-akins-inexcusable-comment-robert-costa" target="_hplink">interview with the National Review</a>: <blockquote>"Congressman's Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong," Romney said. "Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive."</blockquote>

  • Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.)

    "He should be ashamed of himself to be talking about it in that way," Christie said. "It's stunning to me that somebody who's offering themselves for high office like that would have those kind of thoughts and use that kind of language."

  • Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.)

    From <a href="http://mountpleasant.patch.com/articles/gov-scott-walker-says-missouri-senate-candidate-todd-akin-should-get-out" target="_hplink">Patch</a>: <blockquote>Gov. Scott Walker said Tuesday that Republican Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin should drop out of the race after Akin made controversial comments about rape and pregnancy. "Yes, he should step down. Those comments were ignorant at best and outrageous," Walker said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Sturtevant.</blockquote>

  • Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-Va.)

    "He's got to seriously decide what's in the best interest of the party, what's in the best interest of the state of Missouri, and frankly, at this point, given that flat wrong statement, whether he can win," McDonnell <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/21/bob-mcdonnell-todd-akin_n_1818906.html?1345568504" target="_hplink">told The Huffington Post</a>. "I think there was a belief a month ago, when it was just he and [incumbent Sen. Claire] McCaskill head to head after he got the nomination, that it would be a hard-fought competitive race, with Romney at the top of the ticket and up double digits, that this would be a race that would be winnable for the Republicans," McDonnell said. "To say things that seemed to be so flat wrong and out of touch with both science and the people, I think it makes it very difficult at this point for him to win."

  • NRSC Chair Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas)

  • Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)

    "It is beyond comprehension that someone can be so ignorant about the emotional and physical trauma brought on by rape ... The ideas that Todd Akin has expressed about the serious crime of rape and the impact on its victims are offensive."

  • Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan Campaign

    "Gov. Romney and Congressman (Paul) Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin's statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape," Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said. "Congressman's Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong," <a href="http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/314452/romney-akins-inexcusable-comment-robert-costa" target="_hplink">Romney said</a>. "Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive."

  • Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

    "What he said is just flat wrong in addition to being wildly offensive to any victim of sexual abuse. Although Representative Akin has apologized, I believe he should take time with his family to consider whether this statement will prevent him from effectively representing our party in this critical election," said McConnell, according to the <a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-mcconnell-suggests-todd-akin-consider-his-options-20120820,0,5243455.story" target="_hplink"><em>Los Angeles Times</em></a>.

  • Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

  • Elizabeth Warren

  • Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.)

    "As a husband and father of two young women, I found <a href="http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/scott-brown-calls-for-todd-akin-to-drop" target="_hplink">Todd Akin's comments</a> about women and rape outrageous, inappropriate and wrong. There is no place in our public discourse for this type of offensive thinking. Not only should he apologize, but I believe Rep. Akin's statement was so far out of bounds that he should resign the nomination for US Senate in Missouri."

  • Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)

    "Whether he has mispoken or whether he has a position that we would have trouble agreeing on, I don't know that. I do know him and I do know his family, and I'm impressed with what they've accomplished. So that's the best I can do with what little bit I know," <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDsQkjnQx5Y&feature=youtu.be" target="_hplink">said King</a>. And later: "I just haven't heard of that being a circumstance that's been brought to me in any personal way," he <a href="http://www.kmeg14.com/story/19324372/rep-steve-king-on-the-campaign-trail" target="_hplink">told KMEG</a>. "I'd be open to hearing discussion about that subject matter."

  • Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.)

  • Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)

    "I have to agree with those, including Republicans, who have said he should give up his race for Senate," said Van Hollen on <a href="http://video.msnbc.msn.com/newsnation/48728017/#48728017" target="_hplink">NewsNation with Tamron Hall</a>.

  • Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.)

    "Like Joe Biden's comments last week, I find Todd Akin's comments made Sunday to be just as outrageous and offensive. Such insulting and offensive remarks from Joe Biden and Todd Akin have no place in our political discourse," said Mack in a <a href="http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2012/08/connie-mack-cosponsor-of-forcible-rape-bill-links-akins-legitimate-rape-with-bidens-chains-.html" target="_hplink">press release</a>.

  • Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)

  • Cindy McCain

  • Former Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.)

    Talent, who once held the Senate seat Akin is running for, declined to endorse Akin on Monday. "It's a decision he has to make," Talent said when asked whether Akin should step aside, according to the <a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-todd-akin-stay-in-senate-race-20120820,0,2849040.story" target="_hplink"><em>Los Angeles Times</em></a>. "I can't agree with anything [Akin] said," Talent later clarified.

  • Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.)

    "Now, Akin's choice of words isn't the real issue here. The <a href="http://www.politico.com/blogs/burns-haberman/2012/08/dnc-email-ties-romney-to-todd-akin-132522.html" target="_hplink">real issue</a> is a Republican party -- led by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan -- whose policies on women and their health are dangerously wrong. I'm outraged at the Republicans trying to take women back to the dark ages -- if you agree, join me in taking a stand for women. Really, it's deeply concerning that Republicans continue to support legislation that is, quite literally, dangerous for women. Mitt Romney famously says he would "get rid of" federal funding for Planned Parenthood if he had the chance. His running mate, Paul Ryan, was one of more than 200 Republican cosponsors of a piece of legislation that would have narrowed the definition of rape. Can you imagine -- the same Republican House that refuses to pass a jobs bill jumped at the opportunity to make life harder for victims of rape? And what do Romney and Ryan think of Akin's latest statement? They've been trying to distance themselves from it -- but Congressman Ryan has already partnered with Akin on a whole host of issues that restrict women's ability to make their own health care decisions."

  • Sarah Steelman, Akin's Former Primary Opponent

  • Meghan McCain

  • Terry O'Neill, President Of The National Organization For Women

    "That kind of rhetoric re-traumatizes sexual assault victims. ... That kind of talk, I believe, is intended to shame women," she told the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/20/todd-akin-rape-comments_n_1810362.html?1345468189" target="_hplink">Associated Press radio</a>, characterizing the remarks as "flat-out astonishing."

  • Mike Murphy, GOP Consultant

  • Michelle Malkin, Conservative Columnist

  • Joe Scarborough, Host Of MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

    "There is a rule," <a href="http://www.mediaite.com/tv/scarborough-reacts-to-akins-rape-remark-conservatives-neglecting-to-choose-the-most-electable-candidate/" target="_hplink">he [Scarborough] continued</a>, "that we conservatives have followed for a long time, and it's the 'Bill Buckley Rule.' You elect the most electable conservative. The person who is the most conservative and who is the most electable is the one you put on the ticket. That's the part of the equation that we're losing over the last three years. And it's making Harry Reid the majority leader."

  • Bryan Fischer, Conservative Radio Host

  • Tom Perriello, President Of Center For American Progress Action Fund

  • Petition By The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

    <blockquote><a href="http://dccc.org/pages/denounce-todd-akin?source=2012.08.20_kw_all" target="_hplink">Sign your name to call</a> on Speaker John Boehner to remove Rep. Todd Akin from the House Science and Technology Committee. Republican Congressman Todd Akin told a Missouri news station: "First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare... If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." Someone who believes nonsense like this has no part overseeing science policy. Tell Speaker Boehner to immediately remove Rep. Akin from the House Science and Technology Committee.</blockquote>

  • Susan B. Anthony List

    <blockquote>"Congressman Akin, a longtime pro-life leader, has said he had misspoken, and no one is arguing that rape is anything but a despicable, horrible crime. "Abortion supporters like Sen. Claire McCaskill are trying to use this issue as a smokescreen to hide from their radical, pro-abortion records that are out of step with the majority of Missourians and the American people. On the issues of taxpayer funding of elective abortion in Obamacare, protection of unborn girls being targeted in the womb solely because of their gender, and whether children capable of feeling pain in the womb should be protected, President Obama and Senator McCaskill have been on the wrong side, showing that they favor abortion on-demand, for any reason, up to the moment of birth, subsidized by the taxpayers. "If President Obama and Senator McCaskill care to focus on extreme positions, it is time for self reflection. It is time to answer the question why this president has recently rejected bans on gender selection and late term abortions. "Todd Akin, on the other hand, has a record of voting to protect human life. His opponent does not. Congressman Akin has been an excellent partner in the fight for the unborn."</blockquote>

  • Tea Party Express

    <a href="http://www.teapartyexpress.org/5205/tea-party-express-urges-rep-akin-to-step-down" target="_hplink">Tea Party Express</a>, the nation's largest tea party political action committee, is urging Congressman Todd Akin to resign his candidacy for the U.S. Senate. Tea Party Express Chairman Amy Kremer said, "Congressman Akin's comments this weekend are not just unfortunate and inappropriate, but they are distracting from our main goal of defeating Claire McCaskill and taking the Senate gavel out of the hands of Harry Reid. At a time when our national debt is approaching $16 trillion, job growth is stagnate, and the Senate has failed to pass a budget in over 3 years, we need a candidate that is ready to help lead the charge for conservative solutions. "One of the lessons we learned in 2010 is that we need candidates who are not only conservative, but are capable of putting together a strong campaign against liberal opponents. Akin's frequent 'Bidenisms' are distracting from the important issues at hand. "It is critical that we defeat Senator Claire McCaskill in November, but it will be too difficult to achieve that with Todd Akin as the conservative alternative. He should step down and give conservatives a chance at taking back the Senate in November," Kremer concluded.