A Public Policy Polling flash poll Monday found that, hours before he needs to decide whether or not to drop out of the Missouri Senate race, Rep. Todd Akin still holds a one-point lead over incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill.The flash poll came a day after Akin’s comments about “legitimate rape” and pregnancy, sparking a national uproar and causing many Republicans to say he should drop out. President Barack Obama even weighed in on Akin’s comment. Akin has until 5 p.m. Tuesday to drop out
The poll found that Akin’s lead stands at 44 per cent to 43 per cent over McCaskill, which is an identical lead that PPP found in May polling.
Basically, PPP found that the divisive comment wasn’t enough to overturn the partisan divide. Even though 75 per cent of people found Akin’s comments offensive — including 64 per cent of Republicans — 71 per cent of Republicans would still vote for him, and only 10 per cent for McCaskill.
“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” Akin said in a local television interview Sunday.
PPP’s Tom Jensen wrote that Akin’s image has taken a toll, but he’s still holding on. It remains to be seen, however, if that carries through as more people become aware of his comments.
Akin has certainly been damaged by this whole thing — a Survey USA poll last week showed him up by 11 points in the wake of his primary victory. But he’s by no means out of it — it looks like Missouri’s increasing Republican lean over the last few years would give him a decent chance at victory in spite of this major controversy.