"At first I felt (Akin's comments) were offensive to women and insulting to my intelligence," said Lisa Payne-Naeger, a member of the conservative Missouri Grassroots Coalition, who has an online political radio show. "What changed it for me was the Republican establishment's effort to chop him off at the knees and install one of their own in the race."
Payne-Naeger said she was so angered by the "onslaught" from party leaders that she donated to Akin's campaign on Wednesday.
Nearly two dozen Missouri Republicans interviewed on Wednesday and Thursday, most in the St. Louis area, but some in other parts of the state, expressed similar views.
Akin has seized on this theme, launching a "Help Todd Fight Back Against the Party Bosses" fundraising drive that his campaign said netted $100,000 in small donations this week.
Holding onto the Republican base of support is key to Akin's political survival, although he faces more major obstacles to defeating Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill in November.
"THE REAL DEAL"
Throughout his career as a state representative elected in 1988 and then as a Congressman, Akin has been a staunch Christian and social conservative who has fought abortion and promoted the right to gun ownership.