Todd Akin has dramatically cut into Claire McCaskill's lead in the hotly watched race for her Missouri Senate seat, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In a new poll commissioned by the paper, McCaskill holds a slim 45% lead among likely voters, with Akin polling just behind at 43%. Akin's legitimate rape comment still reverberates, with McCaskill holding a 10-point advantage among women, but the race has evolved into something of an anti-popularity contest. “Akin is certainly not loved,” says the pollster.
Rather, McCaskill is widely disliked, holding high unfavorables and seen as an Obama ally in deeply red Missouri. "If they had a goat running against her, I’d vote for the goat,” grouses one reluctant Akin supporter. But this late in the game, 9% of voters are still undecided. "They have problems with both candidates," says the pollster. For one self-described Republican, it's a question of whether to even show up: "It's Akin or no one." (Read more Election 2012 stories.)