GOP Senatorial Committee May Aid Akin in Mo. Race

Wednesday, 26 Sep 2012 09:47 PM

By Todd Beamon

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The National Republican Senatorial Committee may well get back in the Missouri Senate race after weeks of insisting it would not support embattled GOP Rep. Todd Akin.

NRSC Executive Director Rob Jesmer said on Wednesday that the committee would keep close tabs on the race – hinting that it might reverse its decision to abandon its nominee, The Hill reports.

“There is no question that for Missourians who believe we need to stop the reckless Washington spending, rein-in the role of government in people’s lives, and finally focus on growing jobs in this country that Todd Akin is a far more preferable candidate than liberal Sen. Claire McCaskill,” he said in a statement reported by The Hill.

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“As with every Republican Senate candidate, we hope Todd Akin wins in November, and we will continue to monitor this race closely in the days ahead.”

Akin’s troubles began in August when he claimed that “legitimate” rapes do not often result in pregnancy because women’s bodies react harshly to trauma.

Republican leaders, including presidential nominee Mitt Romney, distanced themselves from Akin and called on him to drop from the race.

But five weeks later, Romney is struggling in the polls and some GOP senators think he might hamper their chances of recapturing the majority in the Senate.

That, combined with tougher-than-expected contests in such red states as Indiana, Montana and North Dakota, along with President Barack Obama’s strong poll numbers in Ohio and Virginia, has raised the stakes in the Missouri race, The Hill reports.

McCaskill was considered one of the most vulnerable senators until Akin made his controversial comments. Polls have since shown her leading in the race, but the margin has been growing closer.

In addition, a month after Akin made his comments, online opinion of him has not recovered. Around 1.5 billion people heard about Akin through his controversial interview on Twitter alone, according to a new report from the social analytics firm Topsy, The Hill reports.

About 6 million people live in Missouri, and Akin’s opinion has not budged from a near flatline in public sentiment, according to Topsy.

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Tweets about Akin plummeted from neutral to negative on Aug. 19, the day he gave the controversial interview. As of Sept. 1, it had not risen more than 10 points, remaining sharply negative.

A score of 50 is neutral and anything below negative, according to Topsy’s analysis; mentions of Akin have not risen above 10 since Aug. 19.


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