'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

US Presidential race: Some hard questions now that Donald Trump is Republican nominee San Andreas fault 'locked, loaded and ready to roll' with big earthquake, expert says Trump's open path to nomination causes agony in GOP What is the running man dance challenge and how do you take part? Is Kasich's fall the end of the Republican establishment? Brazil plans an adults-only theme park called ErotikaLand Obama drinks filtered city water in Flint to show it's safe NZ family in limbo after fleeing massive wildfires in Canada The stranger who led young Navajo girl to her death Rolling Stones ask Donald Trump to stop playing their songs

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