Two Republicans court defeat with rape remarks

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Washington, Nov 7 (IANS) Two Republican lawmakers, who courted controversy with their provocative remarks on rape and abortion of the type some Haryana politicians have made, have been defeated scuttling the party's chance to gain a majority in the Senate.

Republican House member Todd Akin Tuesday lost to Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill in Missouri.

Until August, Republicans believed Akin would defeat McCaskill, who polls showed was not very popular after just one term.

But then Akin's campaign nearly collapsed after his comments about "legitimate rape" and his suggestion that women could biologically prevent pregnancy if they are raped.

Republican Richard Mourdock, who sparked a similar controversy last month, was defeated by Democrat Joe Donnelly in a major upset in the Indiana Senate race, giving the Democrats a seat that Republicans had expected to hold.

During a television debate last month, Mourdock defended his opposition to abortion even in the case of rape because, "I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen."

Mourdock, the State Treasurer, was backed by both tea party supporters and the Republican establishment when he defeated the primary longtime Republican moderate Senator Richard Lugar.

When that happened, Democrats thought Donnelly, who is conservative and pro-life, had an outside chance of winning the seat.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)