Embattled Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin commissioned an automated-telephone poll Monday, which showed him in a statistical dead heat with Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo, according to a source close to the congressman. That finding, along with a separate Public Policy Polling survey showing the race competitive, played a large role in convincing him not to withdraw from the race before Tuesday's deadline.
Akin's internal poll showed 90 percent of respondents were aware of the controversy, leading Akin to conclude he couldn't fall much further.
The Akin ally said that the congressman didn't want to withdraw from the race without clear evidence that he couldn't defeat McCaskill in November, adding that the Republican possibly would reconsider "if it's clear there's no path forward."
"People were assuming what the impact would be without seeing Akin's [apology ad] response, which could work," the source said.
Earlier today, Akin left some wiggle room about his decision to stay in the race, acknowledging that he wouldn't rule out stepping aside before the final deadline to withdraw on September 25.
"I'm never going to say everything that can possibly happen," Akin said on ABC's "Good Morning America" about the possibility he still could step aside. "I don't know the future."
To withdraw at the later date, Akin would need to obtain a court order. He also would be required to pay "any printing or reprinting costs" of ballots.
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