Support for Republican Todd Akin’s decision to stay in the Missouri Senate race has cratered and so has his favorability. Those findings come from two new polls conducted after Akin created a firestorm with his comment about “legitimate rape.”
Republicans, by a 47 percent to 37 percent margin, think he should drop out of the Senate contest against Democrat Claire McCaskill, and self-described Akin supporters believe the same by 50 percent to 34 percent, according to a Mason-Dixon survey. Only Democrats, sensing he’s likely to lose, want him to remain a candidate, 47 percent to 37 percent.
And in a poll for conservative groups, only 24 percent of Missouri voters looked favorably on Akin and 54 percent said they regard him unfavorably.
Before his rape comment two weeks ago, Akin had a solid lead over McCaskill. Republicans counted Missouri as a likely victory that would help them take control of the Senate. Now their chances look shaky.
While Romney did well in the poll for conservative organizations, leading President Obama in Missouri by 54 percent to 41 percent, Akin trailed McCaskill, 44 percent to 36 percent. A few weeks ago, he led by five percentage points. He was ahead by 11 percentage points among independents but now is 17 points behind. Independents, by 57 percent to 25 percent, want him to drop out.
Akin, however, has vowed to stay in the race. His freefall in the two polls will make that decision more difficult to defend.