Missouri Republican Akin loses after comments on rape

KANSAS CITY, Missouri Wed Nov 7, 2012 12:48am EST

Republican U.S. Sen. candidate Todd Akin speaks to supporters after his loss during his election night rally in Chesterfield, Missouri November 6, 2012. REUTERS/Sarah Conard

Republican U.S. Sen. candidate Todd Akin speaks to supporters after his loss during his election night rally in Chesterfield, Missouri November 6, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Sarah Conard

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KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) - Missouri Republican U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin, who sparked a furor in August with comments about "legitimate rape," was defeated by Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill on Tuesday.

Until the rape comment, Akin was considered the favorite to beat McCaskill in a state that has trended Republican and voted for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Tuesday.

But the race reversed course after Akin's comment to a television station that women have natural defenses against pregnancy from "legitimate rape." The comment drew scorn from state and national Republican leaders who called on him to drop out of the race.

Akin apologized for his remarks but refused to withdraw. He regained support of some top Republicans but lost significant financial backing.

"There is something close to a consensus that he did himself in," said John Petrocik, a political science professor at the University of Missouri. "She was one of the most vulnerable Democrats."

McCaskill had drawn heat for failing to pay taxes on a private family plane, which did not sit well with state residents, Petrocik said.

People interviewed at St. Louis-area polling stations on Tuesday said Akin's rape comments were important to their vote.

"Seeing Akin's attitude toward woman in general, voting for him would be impossible," said Mary Mitchell Bartley, a St. Louis historic neighborhood preservationist who had backed previous Republican candidates.

Akin's loss was another blow to Republicans, who had hoped to make a net gain of four U.S. Senate seats to take the majority in the upper chamber.

(Additional reporting by Patricia Rice in St. Louis; Editing by Mary Wisniewski, Greg McCune and Bernard Orr)

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Comments (6)
Robert76 wrote:
Maybe now Mr. Aiken can get together with his wife and some doctors and have them explain what rape is and that there is no such thing as a safety mechanism to prevent women from getting pregnant during a rape. The only defense these women have is the morning after pill, but even that is being denied to women in Republican Led States.

Nov 07, 2012 12:47am EST  --  Report as abuse
sidevalve56 wrote:
Its unfortunate for the american people that we have only 2 dominate political parties, each with its own set of special interests and agendas. The current representations of the republican and democratic parties are mere shadows of the original parties that effectively(effective being a relative term) ran this country. I don’t see this being fixed anytime soon however, with public ignorance of polical matters at very high levels. When major voting concerns are whether or not the person looks presidential or not, we can’t expect the public to collectively choose a responsible or effective leader. Its not a fashion show. When you make uneducated decisions, you get uneducated results, which can be detrimental. But i don’t see the masses scrambling to obtain political knowledge, so we are probably doomed to have low quality leadership brought on by low quality uneducated voting. Aside from revolution (which is how many countries have a change in power) the peole of america really only have their power of vote…which is not being used to better us.

Nov 07, 2012 12:53pm EST  --  Report as abuse
QuidProQuo wrote:
Did this guy really think he stood a chance of getting elected after being such a nut case and not knowing how to censor himself? Really, he probably had a very good chance of winning the election had he just kept his fruit loop theories to himself. I am more conservative than not, and there is no way I would have ever, ever, cast my vote for this freak. I wouldn’t have voted for Democrat either but Aiken dug his own grave on this one.

Nov 07, 2012 12:53pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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