Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin looks nothing like a candidate about to quit a U.S. Senate race.
Although he faced enormous pressure to drop out of the race Monday, early today the Akin campaign announced it was releasing a new TV ad titled "forgiveness."
In it, Akin sits alone looking directly into the camera. He says:
"Rape is an evil act. I used the wrong words in the wrong way, and for that I apologize."
"I have a compassionate heart for the victims of sexual assault."
And in a statement that directly contradicts what he told a St. Louis TV station that ignited the firestorm he now faces, Akin says: "The fact is rape can lead to pregnancy. The truth is, rape has many victims.
"The mistake I made is in the words I said, not in the heart I hold. I ask for your forgiveness.'
Here it is:
Also this morning, the Akin camp trumpeted a new poll out late last night that showed him leading Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill by 44-43 percent. The poll was taken Monday night.
The Akin camp said those numbers, generated by a Democratic-leaning polling company, are basically unchanged since long before the rape victim controversy hit on Sunday.
Akin spokesman Ryan Hite said this in a statement:
"What these numbers reflect is that Missourians are ready for real leadership, not a rubber stamp of the Obama/Reid agenda.
"Missourians have spoken once again and re-iterated that they are tired of the same old leadership playing party politics and sacrificing our freedom and prosperity in the meantime.
"It's time for someone to stand up from the Show-Me state and lead in Washington on how to cut the spending, reduce the deficit, and pay down the debt! Missourians are ready for real commonsense, conservative change in the Senate and once again they have delivered a verdict that Todd Akin is that change!"
Akin, a six-term congressman from the St. Louis area, faces a 5 p.m. deadline Tuesday to voluntarily drop out of the race. If he doesn't, court action will be required to verify Akin's decision to step down, and Missouri Republicans may have to pay to have new state election ballots reprinted to reflect the name of a replacement candidate.