Akin to continue Senate race despite GOP pressure to quit

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Despite being dumped by nearly every major Republican over the last 48 hours, Rep. Todd Akin said Tuesday afternoon he’s made a final decision to continue his bid to unseat Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Mr. Akin appeared on Mike Huckabee’s radio program for the second time in two days to announce he won’t withdraw despite pleas from his party to bow out, after the six-term congressman suggested over the weekend that a woman is less likely to become pregnant due to a “legitimate rape.”

“It isn’t just something that’s in the brain. It’s in the heart,” Mr. Akin told Mr. Huckabee, just hours before the 5 p.m. deadline to voluntarily withdraw from the race. Missouri law allows him to withdraw up to September, but he would have to present a court order after today.

Mr. Akin has refused to budge, even amid heavy pressure from his own party.

While top Missouri Republicans, including Sen. Roy Blunt and former Sens. Kit Bond, Jim Talent and John Ashcroft, sent him a joint letter Tuesday morning urging him to step aside, the fundraising arm for Senate Republicans promised to pull all funding from his race and accused him of putting his own interests before the party.

“By staying in this race, Congressman Akin is putting at great risk many of the issues that he and others in the Republican Party are fighting for, including the repeal of Obamacare,” said Brian Walsh, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

But Mr. Akin told Mr. Huckabee that the outrage seemed “a little bit of an overreaction” and said he doesn’t march in lockstep with the GOP.

“There are a lot of other bravehearts that don’t fit into the political parties exactly,” Mr. Akin said.

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