The Washington Times - August 21, 2012, 08:12AM

Embattled Missouri Senate candidate Rep. W. Todd Akin still holds a narrow lead over Sen. Claire McCaskill despite widespread disapproval of his recent comments on rape and abortion, according to a poll released Monday night.

The poll by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling found that Mr. Akin, a Republican, maintains a lead of 44 percent to 43 percent over the Democratic senator. A poll last week by SurveyUSA showed him with an 11-point lead.


A SurveyUSA poll released Monday night showed that 54 percent of Missouri voters think Mr. Akin should drop out of the race.

The PPP poll, which surveyed 500 likely voters on Monday night, showed that 79 percent of voters disagree with

Mr. Akin’s comments that women’s bodies can prevent pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape,” and that only 24 percent have a positive opinion of him compared to 58 percent who have a negative opinion.

However, the poll showed that voters are still unhappy with Mrs. McCaskill, as just 41 percent approve of her performance as senator while 53 percent disapprove.