Four days after his "legitimate rape" super-gaffe, the GOP Senate candidate's poll numbers are tanking. Will he reconsider his decision to stay in the race?
It didn't seem possible, but embattled Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin's week just got worse. Before the backlash over his ill-informed claim that "legitimate rape" rarely causes pregnancy (because women's bodies "shut the whole thing down"), some polls showed him leading the notably vulnerable incumbent, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). Now, according to GOP-leaning pollster Rasmussen, McCaskill has surged to a 10-point lead, with 48 percent support among Missourians to Akin's 38 percent. Two out of three voters say they have an unfavorable opinion of him. Team Akin's response: If McCaskill can't crack 50 percent after all of the negative publicity he's received, maybe she should bow out. Akin rejected calls from GOP leaders to quit, but, saying he doesn't "know the future," appeared open to leaving the race later. He can do so, with a judge's permission, as late as Sept. 25. Is there still a chance he'll drop out?
He might just get the message: There are whispers that Akin is waiting to see if "a huge groundswell of support" from social conservatives will save him, says Allahpundit at Hot Air. Well, it's not happening. He has raised about $25,000 in an online push, but his "fable of the Magic Uterus" cost him $5 million in GOP money. Though he was vowing to fight to the end when the scandal first broke, lately Akin has been "notably noncommittal about staying in the race." Maybe (just maybe) he'll throw in the towel, after all.
"CBS: Sources say Akin might quit if he doesn’t get early support"
One bad poll won't do the trick: This is undeniably a very bad poll for Akin, says Paul Mirengoff at Power Line. "But I doubt that it's bad enough, in itself, to induce Akin to quit the race, given that he desperately wants to carry on." He clearly has faith that his numbers will improve once the uproar over his remark fades. "If anything drives Akin out, presumably it will be funding problems, to the extent they prove severe," but he still expects the money to start trickling back.
"Akin trails McCaskill by 10 points in Rasmussen poll"
Akin won't back down: Sorry, folks, but Akin is "soldiering on," says Yael Abouhalkah at the Kansas City Star. He's a "true believer in his cause" — stopping abortion, even in cases of rape, and "protecting every unborn child." Akin "remains surprisingly popular with voters who believe what he does, and, unlike Republicans who are hypocritically trying to push him aside, he knows that "Missourians are still ready to elect someone who talks the 'straight' talk he does."
"Don't underestimate Todd Akin"
Other stories from this topic:
- The Bullpen: How Hannity, Rove, and Romney became the liberal elite
- The List: Defending Todd Akin: 5 reasons right-wingers still support him
- Fact Sheet: 5 reasons Todd Akin might actually still win in Missouri