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PPP's latest poll on the Missouri U.S. Senate race gives us a lot of reasons to smile this morning. The poll they released today has Senator Claire McCaskill (D) beating Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin (R) by 6 points, 46% to 40%. Libertarian candidate, Jonathan Dine, gets 9%:
The poll shows that Akin's image has take hit due to several of his controversial statements. Only 33% view him favorably but 55% have an unfavorable opinion of him. Naturally Republican voters have a higher favorable opinion of him but Democrats and Independents really don't like him. It also shows that McCaskill's popularity has improved with 44% of voters approve of her and 49% disapprove, up from a 40/55 spread in late August. PPP goes on to explain why McCaskill's popularity has ticked up:
The reason for that change is that Democrats are really rallying around her. She now has an 89/8 approval rating within her own party, up from a 73/23 standing last time. And that's where the shift in the horse race is coming from as well. She now gets 91% of the Democratic vote, up from 81% on our previous poll. The numbers with Republicans and independents are pretty steady.So PPP is showing that Democrats are fired up and are serious about voting this year hence why the races are becoming more competitive and things are looking good for us. However, PPP also offers two warnings about this race. The first warning:
Despite McCaskill's lead there's still reason to think this will be a competitive race. By a 50/42 margin voters would rather Republicans had control of the US Senate next year than the Democrats. Right now Akin's only winning 78% of the vote among people who wanted a GOP controlled Senate, compared to the 95% McCaskill's getting with folks who want a Democratic controlled Senate. It's possible as election day nears that more people who want the GOP in charge will suck it up and vote for Akin even though they don't like him.The second warning:
The other reason to think this race could still end up pretty close is who the 14% of voters either undecided or leaning toward voting for the Libertarian candidate are. They are overwhelmingly conservative voters, who support Mitt Romney over Barack Obama for President by a 66/9 margin. They'd like for the Republicans to be in charge of the Senate by a 65/14 spread. If these folks actually ended up voting for the candidate of the party they want in charge Akin would be up by one point. It's not likely they'll move en masse to Akin in that way, but it is possible and that's why this race is still worth keeping an eye on.
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So there you have it. Missouri voters want the GOP to control the Senate but they're not feeling easy about electing Akin. The true blue conservative voters would rather voter for someone who stands for what they believe in without making them look crazy, hence why the Libertarian candidate gets a good chunk of Akin's base. There's still plenty of time left and PPP shows that Missouri is Mitt Romney's turf. he beats Obama, 51-45, despite Obama's stand in Missouri improving.
This is very encouraging news but the race isn't over yet. Despite your thoughts and opinions towards McCaskill, she's clearly the good guy in this race and it's important that she wins in order to keep the control of the Senate in Democrats hands and to fight the GOP's ongoing War On Women. We also need to beat Akin to teach a GOP a lesson: Even in hardcore red states like Missouri, when you nominate a nut job, you lose. I doubt that the GOP will learn it's lesson after this election but there's nothing that makes me happier than defeating tea party, Evangelical extremists. Lets help McCaskill win: