Rep. Todd Akin

In August, the political future of Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) seemed to have been terminated prematurely after he made a comment so medieval that it could have come from the lips of Thomas Aquinas. After an interviewer asked his opinion on abortion following a rape, Akin opined that such pregnancies rarely happen because in a "legitimate rape," the female body has the ability to fend off conception. The ensuing national scandal prompted Republicans to write off Akin's Senate candidacy against Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill, with prominent GOP leaders urging him to drop out of the race. But it turns out they were just kidding. The National Republican Senatorial Committee, which had earlier suggested that Akin quit, is now backing his candidacy. Meanwhile, such GOP heavy hitters as Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former presidential candidate Rick Santorum and South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint are endorsing him. Akin still trails McCaskill in polls by anywhere from 6 to 9 points, but Missouri is a red state and McCaskill is not popular. This one will be closer than most people expected.
Jeff Roberson / Associated Press
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