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Missouri Delegates Still Support Todd Akin, Despite Controversy

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo

Former Missouri Sen. Kit Bond, who got the most enthusiastic reaction from the crowd, told Roll Call after his speech that he's left lots of voicemails for Akin, trying to get him out of the race.

"I don't know. Try to call him. I have. I've left lots of calls and his voicemail mailbox is full! Give him a call. See what he has to say. You'd have to talk to him," Bond said, with a sense of exasperation that seems to have imbued all of the Missouri state party officials standing at the perimeter of the breakfast's ballroom.

"I joined with the four other former Republican Senators - [Jack] Danforth, [John] Ashcroft, me, [Jim] Talent, four of us - I joined with [Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)] to say, please, for the good of your party and the good of your cause, get out," Bond said. "It has hurt the ticket in Missouri significantly and it has threatened the cause for which Todd Akin believes so strongly.

"The polls show that Obama has gone ahead of [Mitt] Romney again in Missouri. And the state ticket, all the state officeholders are up, and I think they're in great danger, as are several of our Congressmen," the former four-term Senator added.

Bond said that he has no interest in returning to the public sphere, despite the chatter from GOP insiders that he would be a good fit for the seat.

Akin is not here in Tampa, skipping the convention at the urging of the national leaders who have disowned him, in one of the few calls the conservative Congressman actually has heeded. Leaders across the convention are being grilled with questions on whether the Republican Party has lost touch with the female voters it needs to win back the White House and the Senate.

And that potentially debilitating political fault line runs right through this airport Marriott in Tampa, with Missouri Republicans otherwise worried about how to make sure they don't bungle their delegate votes for Romney.

"I don't trust the system to find someone to replace him," shrugged one delegate to another about Akin, as he headed out the double-doors.

Joshua Miller contributed to this report.

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