'Legitimate rape' candidate loses

KEVIN MURPHY
Last updated 17:51 07/11/2012
Todd Akin
SARAH CONARD/ Reuters
FUROR: Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin angered people when he said women had natural defences to "legitimate rape".

Relevant offers

Americas

Allegiant Air flight runs low on fuel over closed airport, makes emergency landing Fugitive's horror film role gives him away to police Pilot training fell short in Virgin Galactic crash US man on weapon of mass destruction charges for backpack bomb plot Prison worker in New York inmates escape pleads guilty U.S. Navy investigates report of cancer cluster at Guantanamo Tragedy of 'golden' daughter's fall resonates with Asian immigrant children Mystery lion sightings captivate Milwaukee residents Obama says yet to hear good argument against Iran nuclear deal Snake selfie ends with $230,000 bill

Missouri Republican US Senate candidate Todd Akin, who sparked a furor in August with comments about ‘‘legitimate rape,’’ was defeated by Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill on Tuesday.

Until the rape comment, Akin was considered the favorite to beat McCaskill in a state that has trended Republican and voted for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Tuesday.

But the race reversed course after Akin’s comment to a television station that women have natural defences against pregnancy from ‘‘legitimate rape’’.

The comment drew scorn from state and national Republican leaders who called on him to drop out of the race.

Akin apologised for his remarks, but refused to withdraw.

He regained support of some top Republicans, but lost significant financial backing.

‘‘There is something close to a consensus that he did himself in,’’ said John Petrocik, a political science professor at the University of Missouri.

‘‘She was one of the most vulnerable Democrats.’’

McCaskill had drawn heat for failing to pay taxes on a private family plane, which did not sit well with state residents, Petrocik said.

People interviewed at St. Louis-area polling stations on Tuesday said Akin’s rape comments were important to their vote.

‘‘Seeing Akin’s attitude toward woman in general, voting for him would be impossible,’’ said Mary Mitchell Bartley, a St. Louis historic neighborhood preservationist who had backed previous Republican candidates.

Akin’s loss was another blow to Republicans, who had hoped to make a net gain of four US Senate seats to take the majority in the upper chamber.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content