This morning, Rasmussen released its latest poll of the presidential race in Missouri. The poll of likely voters was conducted Wednesday, after the fallout of Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin’s gaffe on rape and abortion. The poll found Obama with a one-point lead over Romney, 47-46. Rasmussen’s previous poll had Romney with a comfortable 6-point lead, with Romney crossing the important 50% threshold of support. It seems Akin is damaging the entire GOP brand.
Rep. Akin has said he is committed to staying in the Senate race he can’t win. I’ve resigned myself that, with him on the ticket, Claire McCaskill will be reelected. The only comfort I can take is that there are other paths for the GOP to take control of the Senate and finally repeal ObamaCare.
However, this latest poll indicates that Akin’s quixotic quest for his personal ambition may negatively impact other races. It is very difficult to imagine Romney winning the presidency without Missouri’s electoral votes. Akin’s selfish decision doesn’t just imperil GOP control of the Senate, but may go a long way toward reelecting Obama.
Keep in mind, the change in the poll comes almost completely from a drop in support for Romney, rather than any movement towards Obama. That is the “Akin Effect”. Romney will probably be able to rebound in Missouri, but he will probably have to commit precious resources to shore up his support in the state. Resources that won’t be available for Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin and other critical battleground states.
Akin may be a famous name to future generations. But, not in the way he or his supporters probably imagined.