Politics

Missouri: Todd Akin Calls Controversial Comments 'Distractions'

Rep. Todd Akin (CQ Roll Call file photo)

GOP Rep. Todd Akin said today that many of the issues being debated in the Missouri Senate race are "distractions" from the topics voters most care about.

"If the race is going to be decided on distractions, then that's not good for us," Akin said in an interview with KMOV in St. Louis. "But if people take a look and say what kind of country do we want to live in for the next four years, they're going to take a look at the record."

Akin, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, has been plagued by a series of controversial statements. In an indication of the difficulty that Akin is having keeping the focus on his message, the portion of today's KMOV interview that aired on the local 6 p.m. news in St. Louis pertained exclusively to the controversies, including one that took place Monday.

"If Claire McCaskill were a dog, she'd be a 'Bullshitsu'," top Akin adviser Rick Tyler said on Twitter. For now, McCaskill's re-election campaign is content to allow Akin and his political adviser's comments to speak for themselves.

Tyler's comment came after Akin made an analogy Saturday in which he compared McCaskill to a dog fetching federal regulations and taxes harmful to Missouri.

A poll from the left-leaning Public Policy Polling released Sunday showed McCaskill with a 6-point lead, and most other surveys not conducted by Akin's pollsters have indicated she has at least that much of an advantage.

However, the poll suggested once again that more Missourians would like to see Republicans control the Senate than Democrats. The poll, which had a 4.1-point margin of error, showed a majority of those surveyed had unfavorable opinions of Akin and McCaskill.

The poll showed 57 percent had an unfavorable view of Akin, with 51 percent disapproving of McCaskill's job performance in the Senate.

Roll Call rates the race as Leans Democratic.