Appearing at at a press conference on Tuesday, Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) said again that he’s committed to running against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in November.
Tuesday’s announcement coincided with the final day Akin could have dropped out of the race. Fellow Republicans have been pressuring Akin to withdraw after he told a reporter that he didn’t think women could get pregnant from “legitimate rape.”
Akin apologized for the remark, but McCaskill called it “jaw dropping and stunning,” warning that it was “a window into Todd Akin’s mind.”
According to The Washington Post, Akin told reporters on Tuesday that he feels like Harry Truman, once tossed aside by his own party before returning to win the presidency. “We’re going to do it again,” he reportedly said.
Although Akin has largely been forsaken by Republicans, including GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) appeared with him at a fundraiser in St. Louis on Monday. Akin reportedly said at the event that he believes Republicans will rally to his side before the election and fully fund his campaign.
He may be right, too. The Senate Conservatives Fund, a super PAC built by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), said Tuesday it was polling its members about potentially funding Akin’s race, which an internal memo called “winnable,” according to Politico.
Akin’s race is seen as key to the Republican Party’s hopes for controlling the Senate, but his poll numbers plummeted after Democrats seized upon his comments about “legitimate rape.” Akin became persona non grata among Republicans once the media linked him to vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), who co-sponsored a bill with Akin seeking to restrict federal assistance to rape victims if they weren’t also physically injured during the assault. Ryan backed away from Akin and the bill he once co-sponsored after President Barack Obama personally admonished the Missouri congressman for his remarks.
A Real Clear Politics polling average found that McCaskill was leading Akin by 5 percent among likely voters as of Sept. 11.