Embattled Missouri Republican Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin is holding on in his bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, despite widespread calls to quit race over his comments about rape and pregnancy.
Akin trails the incumbent by just one point, 45 to 44 percent, in a new survey by Public Policy Polling. McCaskill's slight lead is well within the surveuy's 3.9 percent margin of error.
The survey found that 53 percent of the voters accept Akin's apology for his comments while 40 percent do not. Just 37 percent now say he should withdraw from the race compared with 54 percent who believe he should stay in.
His favorability rating in the poll still remains low, at 33 percent, but has come up 11 points from the last PPP survey. However, just 40 percent approve of the job McCaskill is doing compared to 55 percent who disapprove.
“The Missouri Senate race continues to look like a toss up,” Dean Debnam,
President of Public Policy Polling, said. “Claire McCaskill’s unpopularity is balancing out the unhappiness voters feel with Todd Akin over his comments last week.”
Other polls have shown Akin trailing by as much as 10 points in a state that is vital for the Republicans to win if they are going to regain control of teh Senate.
His fortunes began to decline after he said that in cases of “legitimate rape,” women were unlikely to get pregnant because their reproductive systems shut down.
GOP leaders including presidential candidate Mitt Romney have called on Akin to quit the race.
Until Akin’s comments, McCaskill had been considered the most endangered Senate Democrat up for re-election.
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