Who is Todd Akin? Well, in a sentence, an ultra-conservative with very staunch anti-abortion views.
William Todd Akin is the U.S. Representative for Missouri's 2nd congressional district (which includes St. Louis), serving since 2001. Two weeks ago, he won the Senate GOP primary to face incumbent Democratic Senator Clair McCaskill for a Missouri Senate seat in November.
On Sunday, the Tea Party-backed Akin (he isn’t 100% Tea Party, and wasn’t the “Tea Party candidate” in the GOP primary, but has been backed by the likes of Michele Bachmann), made a completely over-the-top claim that has everyone talking.
Akin, who is known for his staunch pro-life beliefs, stated that pregnancy is rare from "legitimate rape" because the woman's body has ways to "shut the whole thing down." Not surprisingly those remarks went viral on Twitter and Akin has since released a statement saying that he "misspoke."
Akin’s voting record falls in line with his Sunday abortion statement. In October 2011 he voted “yea” on a measure that would amend the Obamacare bill to prohibit abortion coverage. In May of 2011 he voted “yea” on a bill prohibiting federal funding for abortion. He’s had a pretty consistent anti-abortion voting record.
Akin earned a reputation as one of the most conservative members of the Republican caucus. According to his Wikipedia page, Akin voted for "carrying concealed weapons, voted against the parks and soils sales tax, voted against the 1993 tax increase and education spending increase." He also "sponsored legislation to prohibit casino companies from contributing to Missouri state lawmakers. In 1995, he fought Democrat Governor Mel Carnahan over a bill providing state-funding for school nurses. Ultimately, the governor refused to sign the funding bill due to Akin's amendment which would have prohibited nurses from telling students about sources for information about abortion."
Akin, who was endorsed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, surged in the final days of Missouri's three-way U.S. Senate Republican primary.
McCaskill, who probably considers Akin’s comments a boon for her own re-election bid (there hasn’t been a recent poll since the primary comparing voter’s views of Akin and McCaskill), wanted to face off against Akin all along. Two weeks before the GOP primary she unleashed a trio of ads seeking to paint Akin as an ultra-conservative, with one commercial dubbing Rep. Todd Akin as “the most conservative congressman in Missouri” and “Missouri’s true conservative.”
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to properly cite language that was originally used without attribution to Wikipedia. We apologize to our readers for this violation of our basic editorial standards. Mic has put in place new mechanisms, including plagiarism detection software, to ensure that this does not happen in the future.