Why the Republicans Should Fear Todd Akin

By Michael Baker

Here we go: another Todd Akin post, and this could all be moot in less than an hour.  That’s because Todd Akin has until 6 o’clock eastern time to drop out of the Senate race in Missouri.  By all accounts, he’s going to stay in.

This could all spell danger for the Republican Party that so quickly and thoroughly threw Akin under the bus.  The Republican National party has stated that if Akin remains in the race, his campaign will receive no Party funding.  Ordinarily, being disavowed by your own party is a death sentence in a national election, and it likely will be here as well.  But Akin until Sunday, Akin was the front-runner, and he’s going up against a Democratic incumbent who the Republicans had assumed would be the easier than any other to unseat.

So what happens if Akin pulls this one out?  Well, then the Republicans have a Senator who calls himself a Republican, and who they’ve publicly turn their backs on.  It’s double trouble.  He acts in their name, but he doesn’t have to answer to them.

And while the odds have drastically turned against him, an Akin victory probably isn’t as far-fetched as it seems right now.  Keep in mind, the election is over two full months away, and Akin did exactly what any politician has to do in a situation like this – he immediately, publicly, and emphatically apologized.  The American public tends to be pretty forgiving, especially of a candidate who, scandal aside, they would have voted for anyway.  Not to mention the fact that Akin’s policy positions are still right in line with the Republican Party, and those views have become increasingly popular in Missouri in recent months.

And let’s face it, if saying something stupid because you don’t have anything smart to say really guaranteed a loss in a Senate race, we’d have a completely different Congress.