Should Akin Stay In The Senate Race? Poll Shows Division Among Missouri Republicans
While Republicans nationally question if Rep. Todd Akin's U.S. Senate campaign can survive, an unscientific poll of Missouri GOP insiders finds his controversial remarks about rape and pregnancy will hurt his standing with conservative voters.
U.S. Representative Todd Akin continued making the rounds on conservative talk radio outlets Monday in an attempt to apologize for controversial remarks made about abortion, "legitimate rape," and pregnancy made in a FOX2/KTVI-TV interview Sunday.
But influential Republicans are unconvinced he should stay in the race: That's the main finding of this week's Red Arch survey.
In an unscientific Patch poll of 32 Republican Party influencers taken since late Sunday night, 47 percent percent said the Wildwood Republican should stay in the race, while 40.5 percent said he should drop out. Four respondents, or 12.5 percent, said they had no opinion.
4:26 p.m. Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story indicated 47 percent of Missouri Republicans polled said Representative Akin should leave the race. That is actually the percentage which believes he should stay in the Senate Race. Patch apologizes for any confusion.
Fifty-six percent said they agreed that the comments would hurt when it came to attracting conservative votes, the group Akin spent Monday courting on programs hosted by Mike Huckabee and Sean Hannity.
Criticism of Akin has steadily mounted on Monday, as outlets like the National Review have suggested Akin step aside so another GOP nominee can face Claire McCaskill.
More than 78 percent of the influential Republicans responding agreed in some way that the comments would hurt Akin with moderate voters, and 56 percent said the controversy would still be an issue a month from now.
Here's a sampling of what respondents said they would suggest Akin do moving forward:
Be upfront about the mistake, explain your position, and pivot to what's important - the economy
Quit talking about anything other than the economy. Seriously. ANYTHING.
Step Down ASAP
Take the high road & withdraw.
If you want to beat Claire, you have to step aside... This is not about you, it's about the cause.
He should not change who he is or what he believes but he does not communicate those things very well. His meaning on the topic was completely lost because he spoke in "his world" speech which people in that world understand but makes not sense to others as we see!
go on TV with paid time to explain his statement.
The last piece of advice could be getting difficult to afford. While Akin tweeted just after 2 p.m. that he was staying in the race and was looking for donors, news outlets are reporting that funding sources from outside groups have said they would withdraw plans to advertise in Missouri with Akin in the race.
The Red Arch/Blue Arch Survey
Patch political surveys are not a scientific random sample of any larger population, but rather an effort to listen to a swath of influential local Republican and Democratic activists, party leaders and elected officials in Missouri. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in the surveys, although not all responded to this week's questions. Interviews for this poll were conducted between August 19-20. This survey closed at approximately 1:45 p.m. on August 20.
Patch will be conducting Red Arch and Blue Arch surveys throughout 2012 in hopes of determining the true sentiment of conservatives, liberals and moderates on the ground in Missouri.
If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in a bi-weekly survey that lasts just a few minutes, please email Gregg.Palermo@patch.com.
The Red Arch Roster:
Ruth Springer (former Olivette Mayor), Frederic Steinbach (former Chesterfield Mayor), Randy Jotte (Candidate for Congress), Katy Forand (Gravois Township Committeewoman) Scott Rupp (State Senator/Secretary of State Candidate), Rick Stokes (Wentzville Alderman/State Rep. Candidate), Charlie Hinderliter (State Legislative campaign manager), Mark Parkinson (State Rep.), Chrissy Sommer (State Rep.), Jon Bennett (St. Charles Township Committeeman), Eugene Dokes (Chairman of St. Charles County Republican Central Committee), Chuck Gross (former State Senator), Cheryl Bates (St. Charles Young Republicans President), Penny Henke (St. Charles County Republican Central Committeewoman), Joe Cronin (St. Charles County Council), Terry Hollander (St. Charles County Council), Mike Nunnery (Republican voter), Jim Pepper (O'Fallon City Council), David Blanke (Lewis & Clark Republican Township Committeeman), Robyn Hamlin (Candidate for Congress), Don Bickowski (Jefferson County Council member), Linda Van De Riet (Jefferson County Republican Central Committee member), Renee Reuter (Jefferson County Council Member), D.J. Cully (Jefferson County Council candidate), Roy W. Sims (High Ridge Township Republican committeeman candidate), Celeste Witzel (GOP Committeewoman for the Oakville Township), Alan Leaderbrand (GOP Committeeman for the Lemay Township), Kourtney Lamb (President of the Brentwood Young Republicans), Dennis Broadbooks , (Wild Horse Township), Eileen Tyrrell (Meramec Township Member), Judy Hon (Chesterfield Township Committeewoman), Anne Gassel (Wild Horse Township Committeewoman), Chris Howard (Lafayette Township Committeeman/Convention Delegate), Kevin Rejent (Election Attorney), Richard C. Rowe (Republican voter), Rekha Sharma (State Rep. Candidate), Darin Morley (Reboot Congress blogger), Mark Zinn (GOP Consultant), Cynthia Davis (candidate for Lt. Governor), Sue Allen (State Rep.), Claire Chosid (Republican voter), John Diehl (State Rep.), Lee Presser (blogger/tv host), Ed Martin (Attorney General candidate), Carl Bearden (Former State Rep/Exec. Dir. United for Missouri), Michael Morton (Regional Political Director/Ann Wagner campaign), Christopher Brooks (Candidate For County Central Committee), Marsha Haefner (State Rep.), Cloria Brown (State Rep.), Philip Scherry (Rock Hill Alderman), Derek Michael Spencer (Regional Political Director/Brad Lager For Lt. Gov.), Brian Spencer (State Rep. candidate), Catherine Dreher (Candidate for Committeewoman candidate), Annette Read (Candidate, Missouri River Township GOP Committeewoman), Chris Gard (State Rep. candidate), Anthony Pousosa (St. Louis County Council candidate), Kit Crancer (Chief of Staff, State Senator Jane Cunningham), Cole McNary (Candidate for State Treasurer), Michael Burr (Creve Coeur Township Committee Candidate), Maria Burr (Creve Coeur Township Committee Candidate), Bill Stouffer (Candidate for Secretary of State), Tyler Holyfield (State Rep. Candidate), David Wissler (Gravois Township Committee candidate), Pat Walker (Maryland Heights Township Committee candidate), Maggie Walker (Maryland Heights Township Committee candidate), Scott Pinkham (Boone Township Committee candidate), Teresa Douglas (Lemay Township committee candidate).