PPP Akin- McCaskill 44-43 - The Roger Hedgecock Show - Talk Radio

PPP Akin- McCaskill 44-43

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Missouri voters strongly disagree with the comments Todd Akin made about abortion over the weekend, but it hasn't moved the numbers a whole lot in the Senate race. Akin leads Claire McCaskill by a single point, 44-43. That's basically identical to our last poll of the contest in late May, which found Akin ahead by a 45-44 spread.

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.

But for all of that the overall numbers in the race have moved very little. When we polled in May McCaskill was getting only 8% of the Republican vote, and even with the controversy around Akin she's only pushed up to 10% of it. GOP voters dislike McCaskill so much they're not going to vote for her no matter what their nominee does. Independent voters haven't moved at all either. In May they supported Akin 45-41, and even though they don't like him on tonight's poll we still found him leading 45-41 with them.

The lack of movement speaks to a couple of things. One is the hyper polarization these days in American politics. Voters just aren't inclined to vote cross party lines with their voters regardless of the circumstances. And the other thing it speaks to is McCaskill's continued unpopularity. Only 41% of voters approve of the job she's doing to 53% who disapprove and for many voters their dislike of McCaskill trumps their concerns about Akin.

Akin has certainly been damaged by this whole thing- a Survey USA poll last week showed him up by 11 points in the wake of his primary victory. But he's by no means out of it- it looks like Missouri's increasing Republican lean over the last few years would give him a decent chance at victory in spite of this major controversy.

This poll was conducted between 6 and 9 PM central time tonight.

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