Missouri Rep. and Senate candidate Todd Akin is holding a press conference Friday around 5:15 p.m. ET, but multiple reports suggest that it’s only to reiterate that he is staying in the Missouri Senate race against incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill.
Here’s the release from Akin’s campaign:
St. Louis — Todd Akin will hold a press conference in St. Louis County today at 4:15pm central time. Details to follow.
That led to immediate speculation that he might be getting ready to call it quits, after two Rasmussen polls over the past two days showed him trailing by a wide margin and hurting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney‘s chances in the state against President Barack Obama.
But the National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar reported that Akin is only holding the press conference to reiterate that he will stay in the Senate race after his controversial comments suggesting that victims of what he called “legitimate rape” won’t get pregnant.
Akin, so far, has resisted calls to drop out of the race, telling former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on his radio show that he “misspoke one word, in one sentence, in one day.”
From Kraushaar’s report:
“He just wanted to get himself in front of the Missouri press,” the source said.
The source said that Akin will be announcing that he’s been satisfied with his fundraising efforts since the scandal broke. The source added that the Republican was emboldened to stick in the race after he received a positive reception huddling with conservative activists at a Council for National Policy meeting earlier this week in Tampa.
CNN’s Peter Hamby’s sources told him the same thing.
We’ll bring you further updates as they happen.