KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Only in the tumultuous world of Missouri politics could the new leader in the race for the U.S. Senate denounce a poll showing she was ahead.

But that’s what happened Thursday as Sen. Claire McCaskill derided a new survey that suddenly showed the Democrat leading Republican Todd Akin by 10 points — 48 to 38 percent.

The new poll was the first one this year showing McCaskill in front of Akin.

“Rasmussen’s poll made me laugh out loud,” McCaskill wrote on Twitter. “If anyone believes that, I just turned 29. Sneaky stuff.” McCaskill is 59.

McCaskill’s camp is convinced that the new poll from Rasmussen Reports is inaccurate. Democrats have long regarded Rasmussen as a Republican pollster. A different pollster earlier in the week showed Akin up by 1 point.

A spokeswoman for Rasmussen defended their poll, saying: “We provide information on what the public is thinking and have no interest in whether one politician beats another.”

Akin has been under fire for saying Sunday that “legitimate” rape victims have the ability to biologically prevent pregnancies. He has since said he misspoke and apologized for the remarks.

Despite his apologies, virtually the entire Republican establishment — including presidential candidate Mitt Romney, running mate Paul Ryan, and five former and current U.S. senators from Missouri — has called for Akin to step down.

The Akin campaign issued its own statement about the poll and once again reiterated the six-term congressman’s intention to remain in the race.