"I think people are looking for something to accuse Todd or drag him down when he, I don't think he said anything that's really worth all the coverage that it's getting." Wood said.
Independent voters were more critical.
"I don't understand where he would come up with that," she said. "I mean, either you have been raped or you have not been raped. It's not legitimate or illegitimate. Its very condescending and kinda like a slap in the face for any rape victim."
Paul Roesler, a political science professor at St. Charles Community College, predicted Akin would opt to stay in the race.
"Why would he drop out? If he drops out now, his political career is over," Roesler said.
Roesler's take was this: Akin made a pretty powerful mistake, but he might find forgiveness in a conservative state like Missouri.
"You are more likely to forgive people who you agree with ideologically," he said.
It's not the first time Akin has offended people with things he has said.
Last year on Family Research Council President Tony Perkins' radio show, Akin said, "The heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God." He later apologized and said his remarks were directed at liberalism as a political movement.
Roesler said Akin's real trouble could come if the gender gap widens and he loses support from conservative women in Missouri who might not be able to stomach a vote for him after his remarks about rape.
"If the vote were held today, he would lose," predicted Roesler. "I think the Republican Party is eager for him to drop out. He is definitely a weakened candidate."
The Democrats will try to ensure that the term "legitimate rape" stays afloat for a while, said Dale Neuman, professor emeritus of political scientist at the University of Missouri in Kansas City.
And the Republicans, he said, may pull critical funding for Akin.
That leaves Democrat McCaskill in a greatly improved situation in a key Republican state, Neuman said.
Still, the election is many weeks away -- enough time perhaps for Akin's gaffe to become faint memory.