Akin scandal hands Missouri to Obama

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Columnists

If the Republican Party needed any more proof that Missouri Republican Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin was poison to all GOP-ers, they've got it in a new Missouri presidential poll just published by Rasmussen Reports.

After consistently trailing Mitt Romney in Missouri, President Obama is now beating him. It's by just one point, 47 percent to 46 percent, but it represents a big change from Romney's 50 percent-46 percent lead he had a month ago. Worse for the Republican: Romney has led in Missouri all year--until the Akin "legitimate rape" scandal.

The poll could be proof that the scandal has wounded Romney and Republicans and that the Democratic attacks on the Republican is causing voters to reassess Romney. Rasmussen revised his election projection for Missouri, moving it from "lean Romney" to "toss-up."

Just yesterday, he reported that Akin is 10 points behind embattled Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Akin has stubbornly refused to bow out of the race despite calls from Romney and and many other Republicans. The Democrats have seized on the controversy to paint the GOP as harshly anti-women by being against abortion even the case of rape, despite Romney's history of granting a rape exception.

Rasmussen found that Obama's support in the Show-Me state hasn't changed much, and that it's how Republicans view Romney that has shifted after the Akin affair. "Obama's Democratic support in the state remains largely unchanged at 96%, and voters not affiliated with either major party still favor Romney by 20 points," said Rasmussen. "But Republican support in Missouri for the party's likely nominee has fallen from 94% in late July to 85% now."