Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillFor Biden, a Senate trial could aid bipartisanship around COVID relief Lobbying world Former McCaskill aides launch PAC seeking to thwart Hawley MORE (D-Mo.) would prefer for Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) to remain her reelection opponent.

"Elections are sacred, there was an election, so I think the voters of Missouri should be respected [and] not have some big wig fancy people from Washington come in here and threaten him that he's got to drop out," McCaskill said, according to St. Louis television station KTVS.

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Akin was the Republican primary contender that McCaskill and the Democrats were hoping for, prior to his controversial statements on rape that have prompted GOP calls for him to quit. That his remarks might have injured his candidacy makes him all the more attractive to the Democrats. McCaskill, however, did not emphasize the political calculations in her remarks to the TV station.

She said it would be a "radical" event for Akin to drop out and the state GOP to pick another candidate. 

"I think that Todd Akin and I have differences, and I think Missourians can look at the two candidates and decide who they want to represent them in the Senate, but I think it would be a radical thing to try to force someone who had won an election honestly off the ballot just because you think you want to pick another candidate. I think that's wrong," McCaskill said.

Since Sunday Akin has received an onslaught of criticism from Democrats and continuous pressure from top Republicans to drop out of the Senate race after he said that the female body has ways of terminating pregnancies as a result of rape. Akin has walked back that comment, but still more and more Republicans have called for him drop out of the race.

Akin has until 5 p.m. CDT to decide whether he will stay in the race or not. If he drops out by that deadline, the Missouri Republican party will have 28 days to replace him on the ballot. If, on the other hand, Akin hangs tough and let's today's deadline pass, he could still drop out by Sept. 25. If he makes that second deadline, the Missouri GOP would have to obtain a court order to replace his name on the ballot. After Sept. 25, the names on the ballot cannot be changed.

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A Public Policy Polling poll taken after Akin's comments on Sunday found him almost neck-and-neck with McCaskill, a dramatic closing of Akin's previous lead. The poll found Akin leading 44 percent to 43 percent.