KSPR's Jonah Kaplan here in this St. Louis suburb at Rep. Todd Akin's campaign headquarters. It's pretty quiet here thus far, but the scene will surely light up later on this evening. Campaign staffers are busy inflating hundreds of balloons up front, while TV crews from across the Show Me State set up their cameras in the back (that's where we are - proud to work late tonight for our community in the Ozarks!).
Today's election culminates a tumultuous campaign for Rep. Akin, who first endured a tough primary bout with former state Sen. Sarah Steelman and businessman John Brunner.
After the primary, Akin seemed a sure bet to defeat incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill. Polls across the U.S. almost guaranteed an Akin victory and GOP control of the senate seat once claimed by Jim Talent and Mel Carnahan.
But then came August 19 and Akin's infamous interview in which he spoke about abortion and rape. Since then, Akin's colleagues and supporters have pulled financial and political support - including calls from Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to withdraw from the race.
To his credit, Akin has persevered and kept close in the polls...which brings us to today!
UPDATE 4:30 p.m.
Just about 4:30 p.m. now at the Doubletree Hotel & Conference Center in Chesterfield...I just spoke with Ryan Hite, Rep. Akin's campaign manager.
Hite said today was a "down day" for the congressman: Akin spent time with his family in his hometown of Wildwood and mostly stayed local.
Hite said there was no major campaigning today - no major speeches or appearances. Instead, Rep. Akin hung out at his polling place to speak with voters and made a few dozen calls around the neighborhood.
Hite says the congressman is at ease and feels good about election night. We'll be speaking with Hite live on the KSPR News at 6.