On Sunday, Todd Akin, the Republican candidate to replace Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in the U.S. Senate made a huge gaffe. As The Hill reports,
Akin, in an interview with a local St. Louis station on Sunday, was asked to explain his opposition to abortion for pregnancies caused by rape.
"It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," he said.
Akin said later, in a statement, that he “misspoke,” claiming that his comments did not “reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year.”
This morning, McCaskill blasted Akin. "This statement," she said, "is a kind of window into Todd Akin's mind."
The gaffe has seriously affected his chances of defeating McCaskill. Intrade.com sponsors a betting market on the chance that a Republican will win McCaskill's seat this November. A few days ago, those chances were about 75%. However, the chance had dropped to about 45% by late morning today.
By early afternoon, Ann Coulter, the National Review, and Sean Hannity called on Akin to withdraw. Shortly after, Buzzfeed reported that "a top Republican" said that Akin had begun moving toward ending his candidacy.
In response to the latter events, I believe, the odds on Intrade rose slightly. As I write (at 4:40pm Pacific time), the chance that a Republican will win the Missouri Senate seat is now about 51%. I suspect it will rise a little higher when and if Akin officially withdraws.