Here’s the deal. If, as almost every Republican of note is asking, Rep. Todd Akin quits the race for U.S. Senate from Missouri by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 21, another Republican will be allowed to replace him on the ballot in November.
Republicans see a dead man walking, and are laying on the pressure to get poor Todd out. It’s not that they disagree with him over abortion, mind you. They just realize that his parsing of some difference between “rape” and “legitimate rape” leaves them at a disadvantage with women voters (again), and with that feeling that Akin says women’s bodies have toward rapist sperm: they want Todd out.
Republicans are dying to take control of the now Democratically-controlled Senate, the only thing that’s been standing between Americans and bat shit crazy for the past two years. They were fine with the tea party-backed Akin and men like him, who want to make all the choices for women so we don’t have to worry our empty little heads about them. But once Akin became a symbol of a small portion of what’s wrong with their party, they were anxious to shed him.
Among the Republicans lining up to urge Akin to quit:
Crossroads GPS. The group Karl Rove founded is one of the most important outside spending groups this election. It is done with Akin, for now at least. After spending $5.4 million on ads in Missouri, it is pulling its ads in the state.
Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown issued a statement saying, “As a husband and father of two young women, I found Todd Akin’s comments about women and rape outrageous, inappropriate and wrong. There is no place in our public discourse for this type of offensive thinking.” He called on Akin to quit.
Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson tweeted, “Todd Akin’s statements are reprehensible and inexcusable. He should step aside today for the good of the nation.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t explicitly call on Akin to quit, but said Akin should think over “whether this statement will prevent him from effectively representing our party,” according to NBC News’ Mike O’Brien.
Update: Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus said Akin has “got to think about” quitting the race, but did not explicitly say he had to drop out.
Update II: Mitt Romney said Akin should spend the next 24 hours to think over the race, National Journal reports.
So here’s the deal. Democrats who are interested in retaining control of the Senate need to show Todd some love. Send a note of encouragement. Tell Rep. Akin to hang in there and keep fighting. If he quits, the chances that Republicans will take over the Senate increase.
Buck up, Todd. Don’t let the bastards (whose fathers might have been rapists, after all) get you down.