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Akin Lives

[ 43 ] August 21, 2012 |

For now anyway.

A flash poll in Missouri showed that despite Todd Akin’s insane statements about rape, he still leads Claire McCaskill 45-44, according to a poll by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic pollster. That’s aligns with similar numbers from May. It could be that people haven’t changed their minds about him yet and the news hasn’t truly sunk in. Or it could mean the Missouri Republicans would vote for literally anyone other than McCaskill. And in this case, it would be literally anyone since it’s hard to think of someone worse.

I also agree with David Nir that Akin holds more cards than one might think:

I don’t claim any ability to predict the future, but the fact is, Akin’s 65 years old, he had to give up his seat in the House to run for Senate, and won a pretty serious primary upset. This is the capstone of his career, and there really isn’t any inducement anyone can offer him to step aside—hence the threats. He may still prefer to quit, in the end, but I seriously doubt that national Republicans would write off this race entirely if he refuses to step aside.

If he can legitimately keep this a close race, I too have a hard time seeing Republican money not flowing to him by October, particularly given the importance of this race for control of the Senate. Of course, that’s a disaster for Republicans because that would keep the issue in the news, a particularly salient point given his relationship with Paul Ryan in trying to end reproductive rights.

Speaking of Senate control, it has seemed to me for some time that this was the most dire competitive race for Democrats. Not only do I think Elizabeth Warren is going to win in Massachusetts, but the North Dakota and Nevada races are looking up, as is Virginia. The Montana race looks tough too, but I would have bet on Tester before McCaskill. Not anymore. But it’s hardly over because Akin is not the anathema to voters you’d think. Because in the end, saying horrible things about rape is probably not so distant from the views a lot of Missouri conservatives hold.


Comments (43)

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  1. Marc says:

    McCaskill doesn’t need republicans to vote for her. She just needs them to leave that line on the ballot blank, and she doesn’t need a lot of them to do so to win. I agree with you and don’t get the defeatism on this race that is so common in online circles. MO is not MS.

  2. JohnR says:

    Of course, those poll results could equally well mean that about half the people in Mo think the way Akins thinks, and just don’t have a problem with that. People are people, and a lot of people will believe darned near anything.

    • DrDick says:

      Which is, I suspect, pretty close to the truth here. Like Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, the Talibangelical whackaloons are a large and important voting bloc there.

  3. Peter Hovde says:

    I don’t think they’ll take control- they need six pick-ups to get to 51, given the loss of Maine and assuming the loss of Mass, and that’s if they lose nothing else. In terms of closeness of races, Wisconsin has seemed more dire than MO before this-haven’t seen any numbers from MT in a while. I hold out some hope for an R loss in Indiana, since Mourdoch is flaky.

  4. Thomas Kincade says:

    People vote for who they think will pull the right levers if put in power.

    As much as the DNC would like to use this and any other issue(s) to keep from talking about the miserable economy and who might be responsible, it doesn’t seem to be working.

    • That’s exactly what Joe Scarborough told me when the first poll came out after the Bain ads.

      Oops. As it turns out, looking at a single rushed poll conducted before the message sinks in isn’t a good way to understand the opinions of the electorate.

      Which, I suspect, isn’t going to be too favorable to the “Quite down, ladies, we’re trying to talk about important things,” line of argument.

    • Anonymous says:

      So, JenBob is now using as handle the name of a noted Christianist wingtard alcoholic con artist schlock merchant.

      One of the first times the troll has chosen a fitting handle.

      As to the economic performance, one might point at the rolling state-by-state austerity trainwreck and the watering down of the stimulus to appease the wingtards in the Senate (including the conservadems and leaving aside the internecine pissing match of whether they had to be coddled the way they were).

      But instead, wingtard troll will trot out the imaginary jahhhb kreeayturs and the confidence fairy. Because myths are more important than facts (except when it comes to the military budget and pork for individual wingtard districts — THEN OMIGOD WE WANTS IT WE WANTS IT YOO CANT CUT THAT GUMMINT SPENDING GIVE IT US GIVE IT US BECAUSE IT CREATES JOBS).

    • As much as the DNC would like to use this and any other issue(s) to keep from talking about the miserable economy and who might be responsible


      I haven’t seen the Democrats run a single ad about George Bush and how he crashed the economy.

      They probably will, though. Romney’s economic and financial oversight policies are Bush on steroids.

  5. potsherds says:

    “Todd Akin’s insane statements about rape”

    Can I request an indefinite moratorium on the use of ableist slurs? I’ve seen so many so-called ‘liberal’ people use the term ‘insane’ to describe what is more accurately desbribed as *reprehensible* views on rape in the last few days that my jaw is getting sore from grinding my teeth all day.
    I am mentally ill, and am fully capable of being a decent human being with a full grasp of rape and rape culture. Being ‘insane’ and being a disgusting excuse for a human being are not the same thing. Conflating the two creates an excuse for Akin’s views, instead of holding him, and the millions of other Americans with similar views, fully accountable for their lack of empathy and decency.

    • rea says:

      “Insanity” is more a legal term than a medical one, and as a legal term, it means inability to tell right from wrong.

      • potsherds says:

        And an ‘inability to tell right from wrong’ excuses Akin and others who believe as he does from educating themselves and learning how to be decent, empathetic human beings.

        I am assuming your comment was primarily semantics, otherwise, I’ve missed your point.

    • Stan Gable says:

      “Todd Akin’s insane statements about rape”

      There’s a good point here – if these statements are insane then most of pre-enlightenment humanity was also insane. This isn’t insanity, it’s just ignorance and misogyny.

      Your average medieval peasant had a pretty good excuse for the ignorance that the Akins of the world do not. In his case it’s a conscious choice.

      • No, insanity is contextual. If everyone says that orgasm is necessary for conception, and there’s not a lot of evidence the other way (especially given weak understandings of female orgasm, etc.), then believing that is conventional and realistic, if not really evidence of mental stability.

        Our ancestors weren’t idiots, at least no more than we are.

        We have the benefit of several centuries of actual science.

        • ironic irony says:

          “Our ancestors weren’t idiots, at least no more than we are.

          We have the benefit of several centuries of actual science.”

          I would say so. Those Mayans had a pretty complex calendar system, and they created it without our fancy-schmancy science and math.

          And those jokers predicted the end of the world. We can’t even agree on when a raped woman can get pregnant. /s

  6. witless chum says:

    My outrage meter isn’t calibrated well, because I’m not really getting the difference in degree of rephrehensiblenss between what Akin said and Republicans say and do constantly.

    I fear that Missouri voters aren’t going to as shocked and appalled by this as the elites of both parties and national media seem to think they should be.

    • Holden Pattern says:

      There is effectively no difference at all. The problem is that he said ONE thing that many wingtards may believe, but that wingtard politicians don’t say out loud. But whether wingtard policy flows from that stupid belief, some other stupid belief, or straight up misogyny and callous indifference to women’s suffering (the majority position among the Republican ruling classes), it’s all the same policy.

    • Davis X. Machina says:

      Akin is completely sound on policy, he’s absolutely GOP orthodox. — just has a suboptimal ability to self-censor when in public.

      If he gets dumped, whoever replaces him will have the exact same positions, and a superior ability to prevaricate…

      The party is the problem
      . A party who’s continually running around saying ‘Quick, we need to find someone who can fake it better!’ — and that’s the last two GOP primary seasons in a nutshell — is generally going to be the problem.

  7. actor212 says:

    The damage he does, however, is in forcing the Republicans to put an effort into a race he seemed pretty certain to win, distracting them from other races where they might have made a bigger difference.

    In other words, he adds a variable where one did not exist.

    The poll is meaningless, as most state polls this far out are. McCaskill now has a cudgel in which she can frame practically every issue through. By the end of the week, I expect he’ll be trailing and by then it will be too late to drop out.

    • Sherm says:

      He has also forced Romney and Ryan to waste time defending their positions on abortion. The more they spend on the defensive talking about medicare and abortion, the better.

  8. gman says:

    Akin will win because his views are most closely aligned with those of people in Missouri..rape and all. When will people get their head around the fact that many parts of this country are rapidly moving toward a christian version of Afganistan or Somalia. Very religious, guns everywhere and intense animosity toward what little remains of the functioning state.

  9. howard says:

    until akin spoke up, i had no idea to the degree to which abortion-rights opponents had fetishized the idea that rape could not produce conception.

    i clearly need to get out more.

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