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Missouri senate race tightens as election nears Nov. 6

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Missouri senate race tightens as election nears Nov. 6

Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT

Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT

Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT

At a news conference in Chesterfield, Missouri, Republican Rep. Todd Akin announces his plans to stay in the race for the U.S. Senate, Aug. 24, 2012. Akin faced controversy and criticism after comments on rape during an August TV interview.

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After Missouri Rep. Todd Akin‘s comments on rape set him back 10 points in many polls, Akin has begun to pull close the gap between himself and his opponent, incumbent Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill.

After resisting pressure from fellow Republicans to drop out of the race, Akin remained in the election against McCaskill. The Hill reported Oct. 16 that “polls show [Akin] remaining competitive in a race against McCaskill he had previously been expected to win easily.”

Prior to the controversy over Akin’s comments, many political commentators, including Professor Larry J. Sabato of the University of Virginia’s Center on Politics, predicted that Akin would defeat McCaskill. However, in an interview August 2012, Akin claimed the the female body “shuts down” in cases of “legitimate rape,” preventing pregnancy. His distinction between “legitimate” and illegitimate rape, and the implication that rape victims who become pregnant as a result were not legitimately raped, triggered a national outcry.

Throughout the race, the McCaskill campaign has focused heavily on fundraising and campaign ads. The New York Times stated Oct. 15 that McCaskill has “spent nearly $7 million over a three-month period through the end of September and her campaign had more than $2.1 million in the bank.”

McCaskill and Akin will debate Thurs., Oct. 18 at Clayton High School. #

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Missouri senate race tightens as election nears Nov. 6