(CNN) - A new poll released Saturday indicates the contentious Senate race in Missouri between Sen. Claire McCaskill and Rep. Todd Akin is in a dead heat.
McCaskill, the Democratic incumbent, has the backing of 45% of likely voters in the state, compared to Akin's 43%, according to the Mason-Dixon poll commissioned by Missouri news outlets, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
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Because the margin is well within the sampling error, the two candidates remain statistically tied with 10 days before Election Day. Also significant, 9% of voters said they are undecided.
The race was expected to be a relatively smooth victory for the GOP, until Akin sparked an uproar in August when he argued the female body was biologically capable of blocking pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape." While he apologized, the congressman quickly faced backlash from both Democrats and Republicans, many of whom called on Akin to withdraw his candidacy.
The same Mason-Dixon poll taken shortly after the dustup showed McCaskill with a nine-point advantage over her Republican challenger.
Akin, however, vowed to stay in the race and has since seen the return of some Republican support and money. The social conservative has also taken heat for making other comments in recent weeks about McCaskill, which critics quickly seized on and used to paint Akin as anti-women.
The new poll shows Akin's August remark had a sizeable impact on the race; three-quarters of those supporting his opponent say that Akin's "legitimate rape" comment was "somewhat" or "very" important for their decision.
Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research said the presidential race also appears to have a sharp role in the race.
"Two-thirds of voters are voting the economy and their pocketbooks. On those issues, Romney is hammering Obama," Coker told the Post-Dispatch. "Akin may be benefiting from that."
It's worth noting that shortly before the Republican primary in August, another Mason-Dixon poll showed Akin in third place, yet he captured a win in the three-person contest less than two weeks later.
For the survey, Mason-Dixon interviewed 625 registered Missouri voters, all of whom said they were likely to vote in November, by telephone from October 23 through October 25. The sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.
Oh my. Now I know people have no moral compass. How can you vote for this man who has made such ridiculous and sexist remarks. This news is very sad.
R u serious?? Akin deserves ZERO votes!
The fact that this guy may win, believing what he does, is amazing and speaks volumes about where our country has gone in the last 20 years......
The cultural and moral advances in our politics and government achieved by the greatest generation and the Vietnam War and civil rights era clashes are being undone before our eyes, we are devolving.
Who would vote for this Captain in the War on Women?
Lol .This race is over and has been over for over a month. But hey , the REAL reason for this article is to keep Akin RELEVANT to remind folks to vote democrat.
Its a joke.
If women vote for Akin or Murdock they deserve what they get. Especially if Obamacare gets appealed, and they can pay for their own cancer screening.
Are there no women in Missouri? And if there are, how could they possibly vote for this neanderthal? Did they not hear what he said about how women's bodies have the ability to stop a rape pregnancy? And he also coined the phrase "legitimate rape". What the heck does that mean? How you could vote for him is beyond comprehension.
A dead heat? GOP voters have sold their souls.
I don't understand why the GOP is against Iran. They seem to have very much the same ideology.
If Akin wins I wonder if he'll support his fellow republicans that threw him under the bus? Sad bunch of Missourians if they elect him....
A male Republican who believes rape is legal and he's tied up in the polls with a female, he must have a lot of male rapist supporting him.
How can anybody vote for a mindless person like Akin!
if akins wins it will be a disaster for the women of this state Forward 2012
Voters if you want women to have rights over their own bodies, please don't vote for that Republican who thinks he is a doctor. Please vote Democrat.
If Missouri supports Todd Akin the world will know nothing is left of the Republican Party of Barry Goldwater – the "Compassionate Conservative". We'll all know Missourians care nothing about the character of their candidates, nothing about human decency. Conservatism in Missouri would prove to be just a refuge for the bigoted, fearful and under-educated.
This goes to show how divided we are. In a place where a man can do or say anything without any consequences. These people go to the Senate and Congress to get nothing done. Then we get upset about the gridlock in Washington. In the end, America get the govt we deserve.
Akins can always introduce legislation to make rape legal since he thinks it's God's will.....if enough idiots vote for the cro magnon.
Missouri is split on this senate election...
It's proof positive that Missouri is populated by inbred hillbillies.
If Missouri elects Akin that will show the world how ignorant the people of Missouri unfortunately are.
Any woman that votes for Akin, or any GOP candidate, can count on not being able to make their own health care choices and denied the dignity of fair pay. Those are facts.
McCaskill is so nasty that she cant even beat Akin hands down after his comment.
I live near St Louis and even the needy are going against her. I dont see any McCaskill signs in yards(Union Halls YES)
but I do see a lot of Akin signs and bumber stickers.
Missouri dosent like Obama and she has been siding with him against our wishes.
She will be fired very soon.
How can anyone even imagine voting for achin' Akin? I'd rather stay home than vote for him if he were the only one they got.
Only Missouri would elect an official from trash like Akin. But then arent they they ones who put a statue of Rush in the state capitol. If I were Branson I would move.
How can one be "split" on Akin or any other of these GOP “ladies” and “gentlemen”?
Akin, like most of the “GOP candidates” are, well, despicable, just despicable!
YOU vote! IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to decide if we have that kind of people in a position of influence and power or not. Don’t boo, VOTE!