Even as many in the GOP called on Congressman Todd Akin to resign from the Missouri Senate race following his inflammatory comments on rape, Akin allies remained defiant.
NBC News has learned that the Missouri Republican is in Ohio today. He is doing radio interviews and "more filming" for TV ads.
Sources around Akin dismiss the calls for him to withdraw by 5 pm Central time saying, "The only deadline is November."
Advisers say that the six-term Missouri congressman remains "confident that he can beat Claire McCaskill, and he's prepared to do it."
Despite intense pressure from national elected officials and conservative voices to exit the race, "This isn't stressful for Todd," says a close associate.
"This is a time for him to reach within, as he has, and stand up for what he has his entire life, what he believes in."
Advisers dismiss the critics as largely coming from Washington, adding that it's "easy to vilify someone you don't know" and claiming it's "not surprising for political figures to respond to the problem this way."
Akin is ignoring the non-elected conservatives, who are upset with him as well. His advisers push back that those critics "might have the opportunity to reconsider" and "re-evaluate" as Akin continues his campaign.
Team Akin also asserts that those "putting out releases" were never his constituency. Their chief defense is that Akin has been "authentic and transparent" in his apology and that he is "openly hurting for anyone he hurt" with his comments. The newly released ad is described as an effort to give voters an opportunity to "see his heart in this circumstance."
On the seemingly dire politics of staying in the race, Akin advisers assert, "The truth might work," referring to what they consider his sincere apology.
Projecting unusual confidence in the face of so much opposition, advisers even predicted that Akin will be sworn into office in January "stronger having endured and overcome."
And they claim he will consider this experience a "blessing," because Akin would have a new national audience for his grassroots causes and be better able to speak to people who believe the political process has "left them by the side of the road."