Akin and McCaskill in dead heat amid ‘legitimate rape’ outrage

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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In spite of the brouhaha surrounding Republican Todd Akin’s comment about “legitimate rape,” a flash poll conducted Monday evening found Akin tied with Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Public Policy Polling found Akin at 44 percent and McCaskill at 43 percent. The poll was conducted from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday evening, after a day of breathless news coverage of Akin’s comments and calls from fellow Republicans for him to exit the race.

The numbers are a testimony to McCaskill’s unpopularity in the state.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents had an unfavorable opinion of Akin, compared to just 24 percent with a favorable view, three-quarters believed his comments were “inappropriate” and 65 percent said they disagree with them. And yet in spite of that immense disapproval, Akin runs even with McCaskill.

Only ten percent of Republicans are willing to crossover and vote for McCaskill, according to the poll, which found that 41 percent of Missouri voters approve of the incumbent senator and 53 percent disapprove.

As Jennifer Duffy, senior editor of the Cook Political Report, pointed out Monday, “The label of ‘most vulnerable’ is more about McCaskill than whoever her opponent is.”

There does, however, appear to be a gender gap forming. McCaskill holds a 10 percentage point lead with women voters, at 49 to 39 percent. (SEE ALSO: Akin: I’m staying in)

The poll appears to show a fall from grace for Akin. A Survey USA poll from earlier this month, after Akin won the Republican primary, showed the congressman leading by 11 points.

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