Authorities investigating threats against Rep. Akin

The political furor involving Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri took a nasty turn on Thursday, as Akin's congressional spokesman confirmed that there had been a variety of threats leveled against the Republican lawmaker and his staff.

This was the statement put out by Akin's spokesman Steve Taylor:

"I can verify that the Capitol police are working with an outside law enforcement agency regarding threatening contact with our official office. The office of Congressman Akin has received threats of rape of his official staff, family and the Congressman himself along with suggestions that individuals should die."

No other details were immediately made public on where the threats had come from, or if anyone was under specific investigation.  The story was first reported by a St. Louis television station, KMOV-TV.

Akin has not been in Washington, D.C. the last few days; he met with advisers in Ohio and then reportedly was in Tampa for a meeting with conservative Republican activists.

The Missouri Republican though has said he will not stay in Tampa for the Republican National Convention next week.

Akin has resisted calls to get out of the race for U.S. Senate in Missouri; a new poll released Thursday by Rasmussen showed him behind Sen. Clare McCaskill (D-MO) by 10 points.

Akin had led McCaskill in an earlier Rasmussen poll by 3 points.