The highest ranking Republican in the U.S. Senate is calling on his party's candidate to abandon his Missouri campaign. Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell joins a growing number of Republicans who regard Rep. Todd Akin's chances to win the race seriously diminished following recent comments on abortion.
Akin suggested during a TV interview that women's bodies can avert pregnancies in cases of "legitimate rape." Akin has since apologized for the remarks and said he suffered from "foot in mouth disease."
But that hasn't stopped a growing chorus of GOP leaders to suggest Akin step aside and allow another Republican candidate to take a shot at defeating Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Akin had led McCaskill in several polls before the abortion comments became public.
In Tuesday's Wall Street Journal McConnell suggested Akin step aside.
"Although I know Rep. Akin has apologized, I believe he should take time with his family to consider whether this statement will prevent him from effectively representing our party in this critical election," said Sen. McConnell.
The Missouri race is considered key in Republican efforts to win a majority of seats in the Senate. If that happens, Sen. McConnell would be in line to become Senate Majority Leader.