Akin's own supporters want him to quit Mo. Senate race

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Columnists

Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and the GOP establishment aren't the only ones who want Rep. Todd Akin out of the Missouri Senate race due to his controversial "legitimate rape" comments. A Missouri poll shows that even his best supporters, by a whopping 17 points, want him to drop out. Only Democrats want him to stay in the race.

According to a new St. Louis Post-Dispatch/News 4 poll, self-described Akin supporters want him to quit, 50 to 34 percent. His image in the new poll is abysmal, with just 17 percent viewing him favorably and 56 unfavorably.

And the bottom line on his chances of beating Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, who he led comfortably before the scandal by five points is just as bad. He is currently nine points behind McCaskill, 50 percent to 41 percent.

The poll echoes a similar Rasmussen Report released Friday that showed a similar shift in the race that many analysts said was Akin's to win.

The poll reinforces efforts to convince Akin to drop out of the race. He has until September 25 to get his name off the ballot. Akin on Friday dismayed the GOP establishment by announce he was staying in the race. He suggested that he was going to run against the establishment, but even allies like conservative talk show hosts Mark Levin and Sean Hannity, as well as Romney and Ryan, have called on him to step down.

Anti-Akin forces Saturday were pointing to the fact that even Akin's own supporters want him out of the race and were hopeful that Akin would act on that finding.

An Akin associate, however, said that his campaign expects the furor to die down and that with the help of some new ads he will stage a comeback. And a key Washington conservative activist told Secrets that some conservatives are rallying around Akin and are upset that he's being left out to dry by the GOP presidential ticket.

Other details from the poll:

-- Women are running from him. While they were previously split between Akin and McCaskill, women now oppose him by almost 20 percent, 55 percent against to 37 percent for.

-- Republicans want him to withdraw, 47 percent to 37 percent.

-- Independents want him to withdraw, 57 percent to 25 percent.

-- Undecided voters, by a 67 percent to 16 percent margin, want him to withdraw.

-- Only Democrats support his candidacy. Some 47 percent want him to stay in the race, while 37 percent said he should withdraw.