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Akin’s Problematic Poll Numbers

There are two polls out today, both with similar findings: Rep. Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment has already done severe damage to his chances in the Missouri Senate race. According to Survey USA, 54 percent of statewide respondents say Akin should drop out of the race; 55 percent don’t buy his excuse that he “misspoke”; and 76 percent disagree with his comment.

Meanwhile, a Public Policy Polling flash survey last night found that Akin was still leading Claire McCaskill by 1 point in the state, which seems to be more of a reflection of McCaskill’s weakness as a candidate than a display of public support for Akin. A Survey USA poll from earlier this month showed Akin with an 11-point lead over McCaskill, so this appears to be a pretty significant drop.

Ed Morrissey also points out a problem with the PPP survey’s sample:

There’s another problem with this poll for Akin, one we don’t usually see from PPP — they significantly oversampled Republicans.  The D/R/I on this survey is R+9 at 30/39/32, but even the GOP-sweep 2010 election had exit polls for Missouri showing an R+3 advantage, 34/37/28. I’m not sure I’d trust that one-point margin lead in this poll.

So it looks like this poll is actually skewed in favor of Akin — interesting, since PPP is a Democratic polling firm. Though not entirely surprising, considering Democrats have a huge interest in keeping a sure loser like Akin in the race. McCaskill and supporting super PACs did reportedly spend around $1.5 million helping Akin secure the nomination, and I imagine they want to get their money’s worth.



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