Todd Akin Staying In MIssouri Senate Race

As I type this post, there are less than 30 minutes left before the final deadline for Congressman Todd Akin to drop out of the Missouri Senate race passes, but Akin has already said he’s staying in the race:

Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) — Missouri Republican Todd Akin is moving forward with his go-it-alone U.S. Senate bid, which got a little less lonely when former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich raised money for him in suburban St. Louis.

Akin has shown no signs that he’ll give in to Republican leaders’ urging that he abandon efforts to unseat Senator Claire McCaskill, a first-term Democrat. Today is the last day he could get a court order to withdraw.

Instead, Akin said yesterday at a campaign event with Gingrich that he anticipates national Republican groups will resume their support of his candidacy in the days before the election.

“I think the money’s going to be coming,” Akin said, adding that the funds he needs to compete with McCaskill “can come from a lot of different source

(…)

Akin is “seriously kidding himself” if he thinks the groups will reverse course, said Jennifer Duffy, who tracks Senate races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. Opening national coffers to Akin would make other Republican candidates vulnerable to Democratic attempts to tie them to Akin’s remarks, Duffy said.

“It’s bigger than Akin,” she said. “They can’t go rescue Akin at the expense of other candidates.” Duffy said McCaskill may be waiting until after today’s deadline to begin her sharpest attacks against Akin.

Notwithstanding the odds and the controversy, one prominent conservative PAC has said that they may be sending money to Akin:

ST. LOUIS — Sen. Jim DeMint’s political action committee is torn over whether it should put its big bucks behind a risky bet: Todd Akin’s Senate candidacy against Sen. Claire McCaskill.

With Akin declaring on Tuesday that he’s staying in the race, the DeMint’s PAC is polling its donors to ask if they should dump precious resources behind a conservative congressman who has been abandoned by much of his party. And DeMint officials are making their pitch in terms favorable to Akin, calling him a “true conservative who is more interested in joining the fight than the club” and whose election could determine the balance of power in the Senate.

In a memo to donors Tuesday morning, Matt Hoskins, executive director of the Senate Conservatives Fund, said “circumstances have changed” since the uproar immediately following Akin’s damaging remarks about rape. Akin is staying in the race, and Hoskins says it’s still “winnable.”

“So this brings us to the question of what SCF should do and we want to know what you think,” Hoskins said. “Knowing that Todd Akin will face Claire McCaskill in November and the race could decide control of the Senate, should the Senate Conservatives Fund endorse Akin and help him raise the support he needs to win?”

This strikes me as the beginning of a rationale for SCF to give Akin money, but I still don’t think we’ll see national Republicans getting behind him because they’ve got far too much to lose if they do.

As far as the race goes itself, McCaskill has been running generally positive ads to date but the word is that, now that the deadline had passed, she’s about to beginning running a series of negative ads against Akin. No doubt, his comments about rape will be a prominent part of that ad campaign.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Congress, Quick Takes, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds 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.

Comments

  1. legion says:

    An important point in all this: Republican troubles in down-ticket races are _not_ all Romney’s fault. I’m getting an increasing sense that, even for self-described conservatives, this election is going to be a big gut-check for the Republican party in general vis-a-vis how far behind it’s left mainstream America (the real one, not the one in their PR).

  2. @legion:

    I’m getting an increasing sense that, even for self-described conservatives, this election is going to be a big gut-check for the Republican party in general

    Nah, they’ll just get Glenn Reynolds to come up with an “unskewed” gut for them to check instead.

  3. stonetools says:

    And the Democrats open fire:

    Incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill posted a hard-hitting TV ad featuring Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments to her campaign website Tuesday. The McCaskill campaign confirmed to TPM that the ad began airing statewide Monday night. Immediately following Akin’s press conference, liberal super PAC American Bridge released a video and memo documenting the “top ten crazy Akin moments.”

    Apparently Todd Akin said a lot more than that women have magical abilities to prevent pregnancies from rape. Looks like the Democrats are executing on Part II of the Harry Reid re-election strategy.
    1. Pick the craziest Republican opponent
    2. Tell the electorate that the opponent is crazy.

  4. MBunge says:

    Sometimes you need to lose a battle in order to win a war. Yes, I suppose that an Akin win would become a reliable GOP seat in the Senate for several election cycles, but is that really worth what having this guy as a member of the club would mean?

    Mike

  5. mantis says:

    @MBunge:

    Yes, I suppose that an Akin win would become a reliable GOP seat in the Senate for several election cycles, but is that really worth what having this guy as a member of the club would mean?

    I don’t see how Akin is much different from many Republican senators.

  6. Erik says:

    How any American, and especially those who are worse off now than 30 years ago, can re-elect any of these degenerate has-beens, shows how we have FAILED as a civilization and betrayed EVERYTHING our Founding Fathers struggled so hard, and valiantly, to bequeath to future generations……WELL DONE! You’re GETTING all, that you so RICHLY DESERVE!!!

  7. grumpy realist says:

    @Erik: Good lord. Chill down, infant.

  8. legion says:

    @mantis: Akin doesn’t realize he’s part of a con job – he actually thinks the majority of Americans really do agree with him. Most other GOP pols know they’re basically tricking people into voting for them by pretending to be rational, and have the sense to keep their mouths shut until after the election.