PPP finds Todd Akin still leads Claire McCaskill, and that the numbers have not changed much since the controversy broke:

Missouri voters strongly disagree with the comments Todd Akin made about abortion over the weekend, but it hasn’t moved the numbers a whole lot in the Senate race. Akin leads Claire McCaskill by a single point, 44-43. That’s basically identical to our last poll of the contest in late May, which found Akin ahead by a 45-44 spread.

PPP finds that Akin’s negatives are high, but people are voting along party lines:

Akin has certainly been damaged by this whole thing- a Survey USA poll last week showed him up by 11 points in the wake of his primary victory. But he’s by no means out of it- it looks like Missouri’s increasing Republican lean over the last few years would give him a decent chance at victory in spite of this major controversy.

This poll was conducted between 6 and 9 PM central time tonight.

Maybe Akin could win Missouri, but this was just a flash poll so it’s hard to read too much into it.

If I were a cynic, I might suggest that PPP — a Democratic pollster — did the flash poll knowing it was too soon for the effect of the controversy to make its way into the electorate in the hope of keeping Akin’s hope alive before he makes his decision overnight whether to step aside.

But I’m not a cynic, no way, no how.

Update:  As pointed out in the comments and also by John McCormack on Twitter, PPP only read Akin’s statement to the respondents after they answered the question as to preference, which would tend to help Akin in the PPP poll.  Okay, now I’m a cynic.

Update 8-21-2012:  Ace, CORRECTED PPP Numbers for Missouri:

Here are the real numbers: If turnout in November matches 2008 (it won’t): McCaskill 49.25% Akin 39% (this is a D+6 turnout model)

If turnout in November is even, an incredible feat for the GOP considering heavy turnout in St Louis and Kansas City during an election year: McCaskill 47% Akin 40%.

If turnout in November matches the best we have ever seen in the state (R+3 during 2010): McCaskill 45% Akin 41%.


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