Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Not Backing Down

Todd Akin seems to be making a play to stay in the Missouri Senate race in a just-released spot begging the people of Missouri for forgiveness:
“Rape is an evil act. I used the wrong words in the wrong way and for that I apologize. As the father of two daughters, I want tough justice for predators. I have a compassionate heart for the victims of sexual assault. I pray for them,” Akin says. “The fact is, rape can lead to pregnancy. The truth is, rape has many victims.”

 PPP has released a poll purporting to show that, while these comments have helped cause Akin's approval rating to crater, he still runs about one point ahead of McCaskill, 44-43 (which is basically the result PPP got when it polled in May).

However, as Jim Geraghty and others have noted, the PPP poll sampling swings heavily Republican.  In May, the D/R/I breakdown was 35/33/33.  For the August poll, it was 30/39/32.  So it went from slightly favoring Democrats to hugely favoring Republicans.  As Ed Morrissey reminds us, even in the Republican "wave" year of 2010, Republicans only had a three-point advantage over Democrats, so a 9-point advantage seems rather interesting, to say the least.  In contrast, SurveyUSA polled this race and used an even split between Republicans and Democrats.

I had been doing some calculations about what the results would be under a more usual partisan distribution, but CAC at Ace of Spades has beaten me to the punch, so I'll just link and quote:
Here are the real numbers:
If turnout in November matches 2008 (it won't):
McCaskill 49.25% Akin 39% (this is a D+6 turnout model)
If turnout in November is even, an incredible feat for the GOP considering heavy turnout in St Louis and Kansas City during an election year:
McCaskill 47% Akin 40%.
If turnout in November matches the best we have ever seen in the state (R+3 during 2010):
McCaskill 45% Akin 41%.

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