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Todd Akin ignores first deadline to drop out of Missouri race. Now what? (+video)

Rep. Todd Akin withstood calls from the Republican establishment to drop out of the Missouri Senate race, following his comment about 'legitimate rape.' His next deadline is Sept. 25.

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Earlier in the day, four former Republican senators from Missouri called on Akin to step aside: John Ashcroft, Kit Bond, John Danforth, and Jim Talent. National GOP committees and outside groups have withdrawn financial support. Tea party groups have also urged Akin to drop out. (He’s a member of the House Tea Party Caucus.)

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On Tuesday afternoon, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) put out yet another plea for Akin to drop out:

"This is undoubtedly a difficult time for Congressman Akin, but the stakes in this election are far bigger than any one individual By staying in this race, Congressman Akin is putting at great risk many of the issues that he and others in the Republican Party are fighting for, including the repeal of ObamaCare

It should not be lost on anyone that some of the only voices not calling for Congressman Akin to do the right thing and step aside are Claire McCaskill and the leaders of the pro-abortion movement. Senator McCaskill knows that the only way she wins re-election is if Todd Akin is her opponent in November.

 We continue to hope that Congressman Akin will do the right thing for the values he holds dear, but there should be no mistake – if he continues with this misguided campaign, it will be without the support and resources of the NRSC."

As the pressure has risen, Akin has dug in his heels. And he does have backers: Anti-abortion activists, such as Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List, have stated their support. Akin says he has received phone calls from supporters urging him to stay in.

A Public Policy Polling survey of Missouri voters taken on Monday and released Tuesday could also encourage Akin. It found him leading McCaskill 44 to 43 percent. Though another poll, by SurveyUSA, showed that 54 percent of Missourians want Akin to step aside.

Republicans are now hopeful that Akin will drop out by Sept. 25. Analysts say the two top choices are the runners-up from the Aug. 7 primary, businessman John Brunner and former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman.

β€œRepublicans warn that selection of a candidate who has not competed in the primary gives McCaskill a fresh issue about an opponent who was chosen by the party elite rather than the people,” writes John Gizzi, political editor of the conservative weekly Human Events.

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