ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — Despite mounting pressure from both conservatives and democrats to withdraw from his Senate race after offensive comments made about rape and abortion, Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., isn’t backing down, and recorded a TV ad apologizing for his remarks.
“Rape is an evil act. I used the wrong words in the wrong way and for that I apologize,” Akin tells viewers in the ad, first reported by Politico Tuesday morning. “As the father of two daughters, I want tough justice for predators. I have a compassionate heart for the victims of sexual assault. I pray for them,” Akin says.
“The fact is, rape can lead to pregnancy. The truth is, rape has many victims,” he continues.
“The mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold. I ask for your forgiveness.”
While Missouri voters strongly disagree with the comments Akin made over the weekend, support for him in the Senate race hasn’t changed.
According to a public policy poll taken Monday evening (6 p.m.-9p.m.) Akin leads Claire McCaskill by a single point, 44-43. That’s basically identical to the last poll taken in late May, which found Akin ahead by a 45-44 spread. (Click here to see full poll results)
It’s not that Missouri voters are OK with or supportive of Akin’s comments. 75% of voters, including even 64% of Republicans, say they were inappropriate to only 9% who consider them to have been appropriate. 79% of voters say they disagree with what Akin said, including 65% who express ‘strong’ disagreement with him. 51% of GOP voters say they strongly disagree with him.
All of that is taking a toll on Akin’s image. Only 24% of voters have a favorable opinion of him to 58% with a negative one. He’s pretty universally disliked by Democrats (3/85) and independents (21/61) and even with Republicans (43/34) he’s on only narrowly positive ground.