Sunday, August 19, 2012

Candidate's Comments on Rape Draw Criticism

The New York Times wrote Candidate's Comments on Rape Draw Criticism "Comments by Representative Todd Akin, a Republican running against Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, are drawing condemnation after he asserted that victims of ‘a legitimate rape’ have biological mechanisms to prevent pregnancy. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” Mr. Akin told KTVI-TV of St. Louis in an interview that was broadcast on Sunday."

Nate Silver explains how this could be another 'macaca moment'. Akin Comments Could Swing Missouri Senate Race. "Mr. Long identified 21 cases in which the controversy surrounded a public statement the candidate had made. He found that, on average, these candidates received about 5 percent less of the vote than they otherwise would have on Election Day, controlling for other factors. Since most Senate races are two-way contests, losing five percentage points also implies that the opponent gains five percentage points, meaning that the net swing is equal to 10 points. If Mr. Akin lost a net of 10 points in the polls to Ms. McCaskill because of the remark, he would be trailing her by five points in surveys rather than leading her by about that margin."

Mother Jones connects it to Paul Ryan, "This isn't the first time Akin has expressed fringe views about rape in the context of the abortion debate. Last year, Akin, vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and most of the House GOP co-sponsored a bill that would have narrowed the already-narrow exceptions to the laws banning federal funding for abortion—from all cases of rape to cases of 'forcible rape.'"

But I think my favorite comment so far is by Roger Ebert, "'You can't get pregnant from a legitimate rape.' Who said that? A Democrat or a Republican?"

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