Did Todd Akin Hint He’s Still Willing To Consider Dropping Out?

Less than a day after the deadline for him to withdraw from the Missouri Senate race easily had passed, Todd Akin was on national television hinting that the door is still open for him to leave the race:

Here’s what Missouri Congressman Todd Akin said when I asked if he was in the race to stay – even if it looked like he would lose and possibly cost Republicans control of the Senate.

“Well George, I’m never going to say everything that could possibly happen. I don’t know the future, but I do know this. I knew that the party voters took a look at our hearts, understood who we were, had a chance to meet us in many, many different ways and made a decision,” Akin told me. “And it makes me uncomfortable to think that the party bosses are going to dictate who runs as opposed to the election process.”

Republicans are lining up to ask Akin to drop out, including Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan. And the Chairman of the Republican Party asked Akin not to attend next week’s convention in Tampa.

Akin told me he will honor the wishes of Reince Priebus and not attend the convention, but insists he can still win the Senate seat. He’s staying in the racebecause of how he won the primary – running on his principles.

“We’ve given this a lot of thought. And that is the fact is that over more than a year period of time, a number of us ran in this Republican primary.  Each of us had our messages.  I was outspent by a large amount in terms of media. And yet by standing on principle and putting politics aside and talking about the foundations of this country, the people of Missouri chose me to be their candidate,” he said.

As I’ve mentioned before, it would still be possible for Akin to drop out before September 25th, the only difference from yesterday is that he’d need to get Court permission and pay any costs incurred to reprint ballots.However, ballot printing in Missouri won’t begin until some time after Labor Day so he could theoretically limit those costs by dropping out before then. There are some who are theorizing that Akin may be staying in to see where the polls go, or how his fundraising does given the fact that outside money has been cut off (on that end his current fundraising drive has brought in about $11,000 so far) before deciding once and for all what to do. If the numbers aren’t in his favor, he may be more persuadable than he has over the past several days. That, obviously, would be very good news to Republicans both nationally and in Missouri itself. However, to some extent, Akin has already done damage to his party by stepping into this issue. Withdrawing will limit the damage, but it won’t make it go away.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, Congress, US Politics, , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Todd says:


    Given the fact that he’d now have to get a court order to drop out, is there any chance that a judge could plausibly tell him no? I’m not familiar with why this requirement is there in MO, but I would assume that the candidate would have to give some sort of a valid reason for wanting to withdraw … and I think there could be some question about whether: “I’m now behind in the polls, and having trouble raising money” would really qualify.

  2. MarkedMan says:

    The only way he will drop out is if he is certain he will lose and the repub machine gives him a big fat synechure at some conservative think tank/BS machine.

  3. Dazedandconfused says:

    He runs out of money, he’ll drop out.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Let me just say as a MO voter who would never vote for an Akin (I voted Brunner) but is on a first name basis with a dozen or so who would…

    Akin is in a world of hurt. The money spigot has been turned off. BUT…. if he is pushed out of this race by the Nat. GOP, the local Repubs will revolt in a big way.

    My prediction: the Nat GOP turns on the money eventually.

    As to who wins, I make no prediction. A week ago, I would have said, “Akin in a land slide.” Now? It is a toss-up.

  5. Neil Hudelson says:

    Don’t do it, Akin! We are all counting on you!

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Also…. When was the last time so many big time Politico’s were interested in little ol’ Misseri?

    Not my life time (54 yrs and counting)

  7. bill says:

    lot of press on this “gaffe”, but still nothing on kerry gauthier having truck stop sex with a 17 yr old boy? i guess we’ve come a long way!

  8. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @bill: I fail to see the connection between Akin and a first-term state legislator who chose not to run for reelection after being discovered having consensual sex with in a public venue (that was legal outside of the public venue). What’s your point?

  9. bill says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: neither did anything “illegal”, ‘immoral / stupid” sure, but we don’t legislate morality- we report it in the unbiased world of journalism. sugar coating it doesn’t make it go away, he’s a democrat doing weird stuff with boys at truck stops- and he’s a public official who should know better and be dragged through the mud like anyone else would be. it’s not that hard.

  10. Gromitt Gunn says:


    So he’s already announced that he’s not going to run again for office, but he should be dragged through the mud??? Why, exactly? Because blowjobs are icky when they’re between two men? Because he’s a Democrat?

    How is the story being ignored? When I googled his name, it was the first thing that came up? Should he have been on CNN? Why? He’s a *state* legislator. Why would it be national news?

  11. Jen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The big name politicos have been interested in Missouri quite often–when Kit almost lost to Jerri Rothman-Serot in 1992, and during the Carnahan/Ashcroft Senate race are two off the top of my head.

    This is such an oddity that it is making more of a media splash, but in my experience there has been quite heavy party involvement in MO over the last 20 years or so.

  12. mattb says:

    My understanding is that if he wants to withdraw he has to go to court and the Democrats can petition to block the measure. So even if he wants to withdraw, there’s no guarantee that the courts will allow it.

    To be clear, the issue with Akin is not that he mispoke per sea, but rather that he honestly conveyed his feelings on this particular subject AND demonstrated how they are backed up by junk science. The issue — despite what Mr Akin thinks — is not whether or not he used “legitimate” or “forcible” rape, but rather then broader points:

    1. That he believes that the Female body cannot get pregnant from a “real” rape.
    2. That belief is based on junk science.
    3. He doesn’t believe in abortion for rape victims.

    This fits into his larger, strongly conservative views on a number of topics. And the reason he’s being pushed by the party to step down is that they believe that the longer he is in the race, and the more opportunities he has to open his mouth, the more these sorts of views are going to get out into the public and kill his overall election chances (and the chances of the republicans taking over the senate).

  13. bandit says:
  14. Dave says:

    I spoke to 2 former County Republican Chairmans tonight and one who is still involved quite actively with the NRC.
    There apparently in the last day a line of communications that has opened up between the Rep, Party and Akins.
    Their are issues with the cost of printing ballot and who would actual pay to have it done. The SoS office has said they (Rep Party) cannot write a check to cover the cost and that Akin would have to. They cannot directly give him the money it is understood. Could this be the negotiation that was referred to early?
    As far as the courts go it would have to be done in Cole County and they are not so sure would be approved by the Circuit Court. If approved then the SoS has the right to ask for injunction against while on appeal.
    In the past the Cole County Courts have pretty much rubber stamped this kind of action while on appeal.
    The actual deadline will be next week before the presses start to roll.
    Rumor is that the 100K was really about 11K raised so far.
    The wheels maybe starting to turn.