So the bottom line is that Rep. Todd Akin has until 5 PM central this afternoon to drop out of the Missouri Senate race under the state law. After that, things get much more complex. Republicans are desperately trying to get Akin to drop out of the race, but not because they think what he said was wrong, but because they’ll cost the GOP a Senate seat they’ll basically have to have in order to take control of the upper chamber in January. Many in the GOP are calling for Akin to leave the race. Nobody in the GOP is calling for him to leave the House as well, which is why I call hypocrisy on basically the entire party. If what he said was as “indefensible” as the lip service suggests, then he shouldn’t be in Congress, period, right?
Anthony Weiner was driven out for less.
But it seems there are plenty of Missourians who really don’t care if Akin is an awful human being. Republicans will vote for him anyway. Only winning matters to them, as the latest PPP poll shows:
Missouri voters strongly disagree with the comments Todd Akin made about abortion over the weekend, but it hasn’t moved the numbers a whole lot in the Senate race. Akin leads Claire McCaskill by a single point, 44-43. That’s basically identical to our last poll of the contest in late May, which found Akin ahead by a 45-44 spread.
It’s not that Missouri voters are ok with or supportive of Akin’s comments. 75% of voters, including even 64% of Republicans, say they were inappropriate to only 9% who consider them to have been appropriate. 79% of voters say they disagree with what Akin said, including 65% who express ‘strong’ disagreement with him. 51% of GOP voters say they strongly disagree with him.
All of that is taking a toll on Akin’s image. Only 24% of voters have a favorable opinion of him to 58% with a negative one. He’s pretty universally disliked by Democrats (3/85) and independents (21/61) and even with Republicans (43/34) he’s on only narrowly positive ground.
But for all of that the overall numbers in the race have moved very little. When we polled in May McCaskill was getting only 8% of the Republican vote, and even with the controversy around Akin she’s only pushed up to 10% of it. GOP voters dislike McCaskill so much they’re not going to vote for her no matter what their nominee does. Independent voters haven’t moved at all either. In May they supported Akin 45-41, and even though they don’t like him on tonight’s poll we still found him leading 45-41 with them.
There’s your Republican Party, folks. Even with such awful favorability numbers, even with these massively ignorant comments, even with his long record of being a far-right lunatic…there’s a good chance that Missourians are going to vote the asshole into the Senate anyhow, effectively giving him a promotion.
What could Todd Akin do to lose support of Republicans in the state? Act like a human being with a functioning soul, I guess. Treat women, gays, and racial minorities with respect, that would lose him plenty of support among the troglodytes.
We’ll see how the day unfolds. My guess is Akin stays, and McCaskill remains in the toughest election battle of her career. All that motivates Republicans in 2012 is hatred of Democrats. Akin could eat a kitten on live TV and he’d still be within the margin of polling error because he doesn’t have (D) after his name.
He’d get 27% of the vote if he clubbed a baby seal on The View while Hank Williams Jr. and Dave Mustaine were playing “Beat The Devil’s Tattoo” and the seal was named Barack. Minimum.