Akin stays in #MOSen race – but all hope is not lost for a GOP takeover of the Senate

Posted by: ST on August 21, 2012 at 6:28 pm

In spite of rumors to the contrary reported last night, embattled US House Rep. Todd Akin announced on Mike Huckabee’s radio show earlier today that he was going to stay in the  Senate race after all:

“I believe that we can win this,” Akin said, citing a “tremendous outpouring of support” from individual donors even as party heavyweights freeze him out.

The Republican congressman is facing a 5 p.m. deadline to withdraw — after that, he would need a court order to have his name removed from the ballot.

But Akin rebuffed calls late Monday to step aside and let another Republican candidate take his place. Instead, his campaign released a new ad in which Akin looks into the camera and addresses the controversy surrounding his remarks.

“Rape is an evil act. I used the wrong words in the wrong way and for that I apologize,” he said in the ad. “As the father of two daughters, I want tough justice for predators. I have a compassionate heart for the victims of sexual assault. And I pray for them. The fact is, rape can lead to pregnancy. The truth is, rape has many victims.

“The mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold. I ask for your forgiveness,” he said. The video was released after Akin canceled a scheduled television interview Monday night.

Akin’s ad, and claims Monday that he’s “going to stay in,” defied Republican Party leaders who are nervous the controversy could imperil their chances of taking control of the Senate after the November elections. Akin is challenging Democratic Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill in a race considered key to a GOP Senate majority come 2013.

A source within the National Republican Senatorial Committee told Fox News that Sen. John Cornyn, head of the Senate GOP campaign arm, already has told Akin that if he stays in the race, the $5 million set aside for the Missouri race will be withdrawn. Cornyn, according to the source, told him the party is concerned his presence in the race could hurt Republicans’ chances of winning the Senate majority.

It definitely makes winning the Senate more difficult, but not impossible – as the Washington Examiner’s Conn Carroll notes:

Democrats currently have just a three seat 53-47 majority in the Senate. If Romney wins, thus making Paul Ryan the 51st vote in the event of a 50-50 tie for Senate control, then Republicans only need to win a net of three seats. That’s doable. Here are there best pick up targets:

Nebraska – State Senator Deb Fischer is beating former U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey by double-digits.
Missouri
North Dakota – Rep. Rick Berg, R-N.D., leads former state attorney general Heidi Heitkamp by 5.
Montana – Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., leads Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., by 4.
Wisconsin – Former Gov. Tommy Thompson, R, leads Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., by 4.
Virginia – Former-Gov. Tim Kaine, D, narrowly leads former-Gov. George Allen by half a point.
Florida – Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Fla., is narrowly beating Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla., by two-and-a-half points.

And here are the Republicans most vulnerable holds:
Maine – Former Gov. Angus King is crushing Secretary of State Charles Summers by 27.
Massachusetts – Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., is narrowly beating Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren by under one point.

So if Republicans lose Maine and Massachusetts, but pick up Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana, Wisconsin, and Virginia or Florida, they will still control the Senate. And if Brown holds on in Massachusetts, then Republicans can lose in Virginia and Florida and still win control of the Senate.

I think Akin staying in was a bad move – not just for any shred of credibility he had hoped to hold on to (his and his campaign’s attempts to minimize the damage have been pitiful) but also for the GOP on the whole, as him staying in after his epically stupid comments on rape and pregnancy will escalate even more the left’s attempts (in concert with the MSM) to make this election about the phony “war on women” nonsense rather than the key issue of the economy and this President’s lousy record on that – and other – fronts.  But knowing that a GOP majority in the Senate is still within reach lessens the pain of him staying in.

That said, it surrrrrrre would have bee nice for the GOP to be able to defeat McCaskill.  Not saying it won’t happen, but the chances now are slim and none.  Ah well.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Trackbacks

9 Responses to “Akin stays in #MOSen race – but all hope is not lost for a GOP takeover of the Senate”

Comments

  1. Kurt says:

    The Missouri race reminds now reminds me a little bit of Alaska in 2010, but with a few twists. There, as you may recall, Lisa Murkowski lost the primary to a conservative candidate who had been endorsed by Palin, but she ran a write-in campaign and, amazingly enough, managed to win. Might the inverse of this strategy be tried here? Maybe Steelman or someone could run as a write-in candidate or as an independent candidate to knock out Akin? Voters who can’t stand McCaskill would therefore have a legitimate option to get rid of her.

  2. Subotai Bahadur says:

    Kurt:

    Sadly, Missouri has a “sore losers” law. If you lose in a party primary, you are barred from the general election ballot. That takes out Steelman. Also, the deadline for both petitions to get on the ballot as an Independent, and or registering to be a write in candidate [basically, a statement that if elected you will serve] was last Friday. The only alternative on the ballot as far as I know would be the Libertarian; who is a convicted felon drug dealer whose platform is … legalizing drugs. I don’t know if there is a 4th party candidate about. [Just checked, there isn't.]

    Missouri is lost. Lost due to open primaries, and to Huckabee supporting this whack job. Put this bugger into Coventry. Lift the Convention credentials of Akins and all of his supporters that can be identified. Have him arrested if he tries to enter, which will show that he is NOT the Republican choice. I’m not averse to banning Huckabee from speaking at the Convention.

    Subotai Bahadur

  3. Phineas says:

    One other realistic hope I’ll toss in: Dan Bongino in Maryland. He’s running against the lifelong time-serving incumbent Ben Cardin, and he’s impressive as can be. This may be a good chance to steal a Blue seat.

    As for Akin, he has nothing from me but contempt.

  4. To be sure, Akin is nobody’s favorite person in this race; I was not my mom’s favorite either, but so what? The strategy here is that by his staying in and at least taking a stab at securing a victory keeps the GOP from being in the unenviable position of simply throwing a Senate seat in the trash.

  5. Tom TB says:

    Funny that there is no mention of the State of my current residency; Connecticut. Lieberman will retire as a lifelong Dem turned Indy when he lost in the primary. Vacant seat races are the best: Rep. Chris Murphy(D), rather indistinguished party-liner. Linda McMahon(R),never elected, founder with her husband Vince of wrestling franchises, and capitalist generator of many jobs. GO LINDA!

  6. EBL says:

    http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/2012/08/todd-akin-is-not-dropping-out-who-is-to.html I hope Missouri voters vote for Akin over McCaskill. Not because Akin is so worthy, but McCaskill is that bad.

    We need to keep fighting.

  7. EBL says:

    We need to win the Senate back! Dig Deep!

  8. Akin stayed in the race, so we have to decide how to approach winning that seat in MO. One possibility is the aforementioned write-in route. But the more I think about it, the more I’m starting to get a feeling that Akin is not completely out of it. He’d have to run smart, but it’s not an impossible hill to climb.

    My strategy for him would consist of two parts.

    First, make a second commercial about the gaff. The first was an okay start, but I think he needs to make a stronger point. Specifically “My words sucked, but here’s the issue – why are babies conceived in the tragedy of rape any less deserving of life than other children? What about those people out there who were conceived in rape? Are they less of a person because of it? Yes, it takes a woman of incredible strength to take the life inside her to term. But does that innocent child lack a right to life?”

    Make it all about the baby.

    Part two: Get off the subject after running the commercial, run on the economy, and only answer direct questions about the gaffe, and only with the statement I suggest above.