The Missouri Senate race between Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and Republican Rep. Todd Akin is a statistical tie, according to a poll released Friday.
The News 4, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Kansas City Star poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon, found McCaskill leading Akin 45 percent to 43 percent, with eight percent of voters still undecided with less than two weeks before election day.
That two point split is within the poll’s four point margin of error.
Though 53 percent of voters see Akin’s comment about “legitimate rape” as very or somewhat important, it evidently has not disqualified him from contention. In fact, Akin leads McCaskill 42 percent to 36 percent among independent voters who have decided who they will vote for.
Akin’s popularity remains low, however. 28 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of him, while 42 percent have an unpopular opinion. Meanwhile, 40 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of McCaskill, while 47 percent have an unfavorable opinion.
McCaskill holds a large lead over Akin among younger voters, ages 18-44. 53 percent of that demographic plan to vote for her, while 35 percent plan to vote for Akin. She also leads among female voters, 47 percent to 38 percent.
The poll of 625 registered Missouri voters was conducted from October 23 through October 25 using telephone interviews.
Shortly after the poll was released, the McCaskill campaign released an internal poll showing the senator leading Akin by 14 points, 53 percent to 39 percent, with 7 percent undecided. The poll has McCaskill leading by 24 points among independents, by 20 points among women, and by eight points among men.
The McCaskill internal surveyed 600 likely voters on October 24 through the October 25.