Despite the pleadings of the Republican party leadership, many prominent conservatives and even some of the leading anti-abortion activists, Todd Akin has refused to pull out of the race in time to let the GOP to easily name a replacement.
He had until 6 pm Tuesday to withdraw from the race and let the party name a replacement without a very cumbersome process. If he were to pull out now, he’d have to petition a court to let him do so — and his name would appear on the ballot regardless, potentially splitting the Republican vote and making it far less likely that they could unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill in November. But here’s the real question: Will he get the money necessary to mount a serious campaign? The biggest third-party sources of ad spending pulled their support of him in the wake of his comments about rape and pregnancy:
But the biggest blow to Akin’s floundering campaign came when the Republican Party and a big-spending super PAC threatened to pull away their cash.
Amid the firestorm Monday over Akin’s comments that victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant, a GOP official said the National Republican Senatorial Committee would scrap the $5 million it planned to spend on the race unless Akin quit. And the Karl Rove-backed conservative spending juggernaut Crossroads GPS announced it was pulling ads slated to start Wednesday in Missouri.
For Akin, who eked out a come-from-behind victory in the hotly contested GOP primary and hasn’t been a fundraising star, a win over incumbent Claire McCaskill will be tough, if not impossible, without the help of heavily funded party committees and conservative groups.
But I’ll make a prediction: If he stays in, that money will come back. The party and Rove don’t really give a damn how vile Akin is on this or any other issue, they care only about winning the election. And they’ll put all that money back in, and then some, if they can’t talk him into withdrawing from the race.