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Minnesota’s Republicans vote with Akin on abortion, but will it be a campaign issue?

Most House Republicans have solidly pro-life voting records, but both sides say the issue isn’t one with staying power come this fall.

Rep. Todd Akin apologized for his comments about "legitimate rape," but he has consistently voted in Congress to place restrictions on abortion.

Data: Congressional votes on abortion
See how the Minnesota’s congressional delegation voted on 13 measures relating to abortion that came up during the 112th Congress.

abortion votes graphic
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“He is not going to be focusing on anything that doesn’t haven’t direct correlation to that,” she said. “That is the reason he’s running.”

Nationally, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Ryan, have disavowed Akin and called on him to quit the race. Unlike the hard-line Akin, the Republican ticket oppose banning abortions for rape victims, though the official Republican platform will include the ban.

But most voters don’t care (or know, frankly) what exactly is in a party’s official platform, unless it becomes an issue like abortion has this week. Kathryn Pearson, a University of Minnesota Congress and campaigns expert, said next week’s Republican convention, and the Democratic one the week later, will give both parties the chance to refocus on the campaign’s overriding issue, the economy.

“The conventions will, to some extent, change the conversation,” she said. “The parties can talk about what they want to talk about, and both parties are going to spend a lot of time talking about the economy, which is what voters care about.”