Todd Akin opts to stay in Senate race
The deadline for Rep. Todd Akin to end his campaign for for the Missouri Senate race came and went last night. Missouri election law would have allowed Akin to drop out and a substitute candidate to take his place if he had dropped out by 6pm yesterday. But despite overwhelming pressure from Republicans for the embattled candidate to get out of the race, Akin insisted that he would face Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in November:
Resisting the full brunt of his party, the Missouri Senate candidate let a 6 p.m. EST deadline pass for him to get out of the Senate race voluntarily and allow Republicans to pick a replacement.
The GOP mounted a fevered 48-hour anti-Akin campaign after the six-term congressman said in a TV interview Sunday “legitimate rape” victims rarely get pregnant because female bodies have a way to “shut that whole thing down.”
But the congressman grew seemingly more defiant with each statement of GOP outrage, dismissing claims that he was putting a must-win Senate seat for the party at risk. Sen. Claire McCaskill has been seen as one of the most vulnerable Democratic senators in the country, but her prospects are suddenly much brighter thanks to Akin’s blunder.
Though Akin could technically still get out of the race, the process for dropping out now becomes far more cumbersome. He would have to petition a court to withdraw before Sept. 25. After that, Akin’s name would appear in the November ballot no matter what.
If you caught his interview with Sean Hannity yesterday, you could hear that Akin, who shot an an ad apologizing for his gaffe, was clearly in denial about this firestorm having staying power. Hannity tried hard to get him to understand that these incredibly ignorant comments, rather than the economy, would be the talk of the race from now until November.
Hannity also tried to explain that the survey conducted on Monday night by Public Policy Polling showing him a single point ahead was really a farce since it over sampled Republicans, but Akin dismissed the idea that he was in any real electoral trouble.
The Cook Political Report has given McCaskill the edge, moving the race to “Likely Democrat.” That’s realization was something that was in Hannity’s voice as the interview with Akin end — a much needed win for Republicans to repeal ObamaCare and undo many parts of President Obama’s agenda is very likely gone.