|Congressman Todd Akin|
As a side note, when I heard Congressman Akin begin his explanation about pregnancy from rape, I knew where he was going. There has long been the theory out there in the pro-life movement that pregnancy is less likely to happen as a result of a rape than if the sexual act is consensual. As far as I know, there are no scientific studies confirming this and Akin tortured his explanation of the theory. I mean, how is a rape ever "legitimate?" Words have consequences and words may well have cost Akin a Senate seat.
As another side note, pro-lifers hold a popular position when they oppose abortion on demand. Abortion proponents want the game fought on the popular exceptions people want to abortion such as for rape and incest. Pro-lifers are fools for not conceding those exceptions (I know the argument that doing so is inconsistent with the biological fact of unborn life) and instead letting abortion supporters fight the battle on turf favorable to them. Isn't it better to win 99% rather than lose fighting over the the 1%?
Back to the main event. Politico reports on a Family Research Council Poll that shows Akin leading 45-42. While the Family Research Council is a huge supporter of Akin, the pollster, Fritz Wenzel is a legitimate pollster. According to Politico:
A survey commissioned by the Family Research Council — the prominent social conservative group standing with Akin — and shared with POLITICO found that Akin now pulls 45 percent support to McCaskill’s 42 percent.
That’s not to say Akin hasn’t sustained damage: his personal image is weak, with 44 percent of voters having a favorable impression of him and 50 percent having an unfavorable impression. But he still leads McCaskill by 10 points among independent voters and in the conservative-leaning state, Akin wins about the same percentage of Republicans (78 percent) that McCaskill wins among Democrats (82 percent.)
Pollster Fritz Wenzel underlines the importance of Akin’s support on the right: “McCaskill holds a 58% lead over Akin among very liberal voters, but that pales compared to Akin’s 81% to 5% lead among very conservative voters in Missouri.”
“Despite the firestorm of news in the Senate race over the past few weeks, most voters have already made up their mind in the race, the survey shows,” Wenzel writes. “The fact that 80% said they were firm in their choice certainly indicates that this is a race that will be decided more by ideology and turnout efforts by the campaigns and less by breaking news that flashes across the news pages and cable news channels.”
While other less recent post-"legitimate rape" polls show McCaskill with as much as a 10 point lead, I expect that surge will be temporary and that it will eventually be a dead heat. Of course without the "legitimate rape" comment, Akin would be ahead instead neck-to-neck with the incumbent.
I do agree though that people in Missouri have made up their minds and the outcome will depend on which side turns out their people the best.