Senate candidate's comment, changing minds?

Published 08/23 2012 10:08PM

Updated 08/24 2012 10:18AM

CHAMPAIGN -- A controversial comment may be stirring the pot in the race for the White House. By now, you've heard what Todd Akin said about rape and abortion.

New poll numbers show it may be making a difference in the race for president. Your Local Election Headquarters, WCIA-3 News' Steve Staeger is following the race.

This is changing the debate. For a long time, this race has focused on the economy. But, this week, the discussion's turned to women's rights. A new poll shows it may be working in the president's favor.

"Think the underlying notion that we should be making decisions on behalf of women for their health care decisions or qualifying forcible rape versus non-forcible rape, I think those are broader issues, and that is a significant difference in approach between me and the other party."

President Obama was one of the first to speak out against controversial Missouri Senate candidate, Todd Akin. His words seem to be working. A new CBS News-Quinnipiac Poll shows the gender gap between the president and Mitt Romney is widening.

The president also has a double digit lead among women in the three key battleground states polled. But, the new numbers also have some good news for his competitor.

"We need more American energy; coal, oil, gas, nuclear, renewables, all of the above."

Romney was trying to shift the discussion to energy Thursday at a campaign stop in New Mexico. This, while that same CBS News poll shows the president's lead in battleground state of Florida shrinking. He was up by six points there last month. Now he only leads Romney by three.

The poll shows a virtual tie in Wisconsin, thanks in large part to Romney's selection of Paul Ryan. The president does hold a lead in Ohio, which could be key to this race.

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