Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has finally demanded the resignation of a Senate candidate who said women could get pregnant after "legitimate rape", days after the original comment.
The scandal has been compared to George Galloway's comments on Julian Assange in the UK as evidence of a widespread misunderstanding of rape on both sides of the Atlantic.
"Today, his fellow Missourians urged him to step aside, and I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race," Romney said yesterday.
The demand prompted relief among many Republican supporters that the leadership was finally grasping the full scale of the damage the comments had done.
Todd Akin may have done irreparable harm to the Republican campaign, with comments which caused widespread revulsion and prompted some donors to contribute their money to teenage pregnancy charities instead.
It is too late for him to withdraw from the race without incurring a financial penalty, although another withdrawal date can be set for September 25th, if there is a court order.