Todd Akin is back in a statistical tie with Claire McCaskill in the race for Missouri Senate.
Before you give yourself a WTF seizure, remember that Republicans want nothing more than for this guy to drop out of the race and go hide in a hole; Karl Rove was heard in a (supposedly) closed door meeting last week joking about murdering the guy.
How come? The longer Akin stays in, the more Democrats can hammer away at him. The longer he stays in, the more Democrats can continue to make the…sigh…”War on Women” a front-and-center issue, which plays better for them than talking about jobs. And most important, the longer he stays in, the more Democrats can tie him to Paul Ryan, with whom he is consonant on issues of rape and abortion, down to cosponsoring a bill with Akin on the subject. Since Akin’s oopsy, any GOP candidate asked about rape and abortion has flubbed the response and ended up looking bad in the national news, and that includes Ryan himself. And it goes without saying that the more Ryan is disoriented from his “serious fiscal wonk” act, the worse of a VP candidate he is. Akin sticking around making headlines means Ryan is at risk at every media event of getting drawn into enemy territory.
Akin is running well because McCaskill is a weak candidate, due to particularities of Missouri demographics and state-level politics that I’m not even close to qualified to discuss. But from what I’ve read, a generic Republican would be beating McCaskill in this race. A generic Republican is what would replace Akin if he were to drop out (the deadline for which is the 25th of this month). From a craven political perspective, the Democrats have nothing to lose by him staying in the race, which he will do if he continues to poll like this.