KANSAS CITY, Mo. - What a difference a week makes in politics. A new poll out Wednesday shows embattled U.S. Senate Republican candidate Todd Akin ahead of incumbent Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill.
A new poll commissioned by the conservative advocacy group, Family Research Council, gives a slight edge to Akin, a man who just a week ago slid ten points behind McCaskill in many polls.
The poll gives Akin a 3 percent lead over McCaskill. This lead comes despite Akin being asked by the Chairman of the Republican National Convention to step aside Tuesday, with little money left and after a Planned Parenthood petition delivered Wednesday called Akin cruel and offensive.
It was a little more than a week ago when Akin's comments regarding pregnancy and "legitimate rape" caused him to lose his lead over McCaskill, which some polls had as high as 10 points.
The new survey of likely Missouri general election voters shows Akin has regained a 45 percent to 42 percent lead. Half of the respondents said they still view him unfavorably, though.
The Family Research Council called the poll evidence that calls for Akin to drop out were premature.
McCaskill, visiting Kansas City on Wednesday to talk about the $60 billion she claims to have saved in wasted taxpayer money on no-bid military contracts, addressed the polls and her opponent. McCaskill noted there were still 68 days to go until the November election, and the polls could change greatly by then.
"If anyone is watching the polls, there will be a lot of whiplash," said McCaskill.
Akin said in a St. Louis interview Tuesday this will be a race decided by voters who want to go back to the Republican fundamentals, the growing frustration with President Obama's health care policies and the weak economy, as opposed to one misspoken comment about one issue.
"I voted against ‘Obamacare’ 30 times, obviously Claire is in favor of it. So there's sharp contrast,” said Akin.
McCaskill contended that she is more of a moderate politician than the party-line voter her opponent is describing her as.
"The people in Missouri will decide they like good old fashioned moderate Missourian as opposed to somebody way outside the mainstream," said McCaskill.
McCaskill agreed Wednesday that the Senate race in Missouri will be a hard fought race, as Republicans wanting to help secure a majority in the chamber.
The new poll also showed Akin leading with independent voters.
Akin said he is low on money, but there is a grassroots effort to make small donations. In this election cycle there is evidence money does not always buy wins. In six of the most hotly contested GOP primary contests, the best-funded $8 million candidate lost.
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