Respected political analyst Karl Rove tells Newsmax that Senate candidate Todd Akin’s “nutty” comments about rape will make it difficult for Republicans to take control of the Senate.
Rep. Akin, who is running against Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri, sparked outrage when he said in an Aug. 19 interview that “legitimate rape” rarely leads to pregnancy because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Akin has so far defied calls from leading Republicans to drop out of the race.
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Rove says: “If Akin remains in the race, it makes the odds of the Republicans taking the Senate more difficult. The Republicans were looking at being able to pick up 51, 52, 53 seats. If he remains in the race, he’ll lose. The new Mason-Dixon poll has his favorability at 17 percent, well below anybody else in Missouri in politics.
“A plurality of Republicans want him out of the race. Independents want him out of the race by better than two to one. The only group in the electorate that wants him to remain in the race is Democrats by a 10-point margin, and I don’t think they have the best interest of the conservative movement or Republicans at heart.”
Rove adds: “This was a mistake on two levels: One, it is an outrageous and deeply disappointing comment. It is nutty. But what’s also bad about it is that he says it on Sunday morning in an interview that he’d earlier taped and he doesn’t apologize for it until Tuesday night and does it in a TV ad. So this is why the voters who a week before were giving him a 10-point lead over Claire McCaskill, three days afterwards were giving him a 10-point deficit to McCaskill.
“It’s because they were given the choice between saying, ‘What does he really believe — the thing he spontaneously said in an interview by a conservative journalist or the contrived thing that he says better than 60 hours later in a television ad?’ Obviously, the answer is they believe what he said on Sunday morning, not what he believes on Tuesday night.”
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