Despite ‘Legitimate Rape’ Fail, Todd Akin Is Still a Senate Contender

The Republican party may have abandoned him, but he has plenty of supporters.
Even though there have been widespread calls for him to abandon his bid for a Senate seat, Rep. Todd Akin has plenty to smile about. (Sarah Conard/Reuters)
Aug 29, 2012
A former Gourmet staffer, Lawrence enjoys writing about design, food, travel, and lots of other stuff.

You’ve certainly read by now about Representative Todd Akin, the Republican Senate nominee from Missouri, and his comment that in cases of “legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” That “whole thing” being an unwanted pregnancy.

Akin has pretty much been abandoned by his party, including Mitt Romney and stalwarts like Senator John McCain. Earlier this week, The Washington Post quoted McCain as saying that Akin’s “recent controversial comments about rape and pregnancy are problematic for the GOP, and that the congressman ‘would not be welcome by Republicans in the United States Senate.’ ”

McCain added, “Mr. Akin should recognize having the nomination of your party is a privilege and if you abuse that then you are not eligible to keep it. What he said was unacceptable.”

MORE: Rapists Can Claim Child Custody and Visitation Rights in 31 States

Yet, like the Energizer Bunny, Mr. Akin just keeps going. The New York Times and other news outlets reported last week that Akin went on Mike Huckabee’s radio program and said, “I’m not a quitter . . . My belief is we’re going to take this thing forward, and by the grace of God, we’re going to win this race.”

And, by God, he just might do it.

Politico reported yesterday that, “Missouri Rep. Todd Akin has suffered a week and a half of turmoil in his Senate campaign—and according to one poll, still leads Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill within the margin of error . . . 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.’”

And Akin’s supporters aren’t hiding from view. The Washington Post reported yesterday that there was, “A rare sight on the GOP convention floor: a sticker for Senate candidate Todd Akin, who has been essentially disowned by party leaders...The sticker was on the lapel of Jeff Taylor, from Sioux Center, Iowa. Taylor said he felt that Akin’s comments were ‘definitely stupid.’ But he said he agrees with Akin’s blanket opposition to abortion, even in cases of rape. Taylor said he felt that Akin was still a viable candidate, and had been abandoned by party leaders.”

Taylor went on to say, “Even Gov. Romney is not immune from saying stupid things,” and added that “Romney was being hypocritical by criticizing Akin now.”

Looks like “The Show Me State” might just show us a surprise Republican victory this fall.

Do you think that Missouri voters will overlook Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment when they chose a candidate this fall?

Lawrence Karol is a writer and editor who lives with his dog, Mike. He is a former Gourmet staffer and enjoys writing about design, food, travel and lots of other stuff. @WriteEditDream | Email Lawrence |

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