Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin, thrown under the bus by Karl Rove and the Washington GOP establishment for his "legitimate rape" comment, is making a strong comeback in the polls and is now beating Sen. Claire McCaskill.
In a new internal Akin poll provided to Secrets late Wednesday, the House Republican is beating the one-term incumbent 48.7 percent to 46.8 percent with 4.4 percent undecided. What's more, when Show-Me State voters are presented with the claim a firm owned by McCaskill benefited from the stimulus which she backed, the victory margin surges to 48.9 percent to 41.9 percent, further incentive for Akin to bang on that issue.
The poll of 675 likely Missouri voters from Wenzel Strategies, conducted September 30-October 1, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.75 percent, indicating that Akin has a solid lead. It also showed that Mitt Romney is beating President Obama 50 percent to 40 percent.
Five weeks after making the comments that at the time seemed career-ending, Rasmussen Reports has Akin six points behind McCaskill, 51 percent to 45 percent. That result shows an improvement over past polls, some that had him behind by 10 points. And among those "certain to vote," he trails McCaskill by just four points, said Rasmussen.
More surprising is that he is better-liked than McCaskill, found Rasmussen. Some 47 percent of likely Missouri voters have a favorable view of Akin, with 30 percent in the "very favorable" category. Some 41 percent view McCaskill favorably, with just 14 percent "very favorable."
The uptick in the polls comes as outside groups are pouring volunteers and money into Akin's campaign. The Family Research Council, for example, told Secrets that they plan to host a week-long bus tour through Missouri to energize Evangelical and Catholic voters for Akin, long opposed to abortion.
And this week, Gary Bauer, president of Campaign for American Values, told Secrets that he plans to fund several ads on behalf of Akin. He said the effort will total several hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Both Perkins and Bauer called Akin's comments a mistake, and said they were boosting their support because they want to help the GOP take back control of the Senate and don't think that can be done without winning Missouri.