Despite pleas from the Wall Street Journal, the National Review, Sean Hannity, Charles Krauthammer, Karl Rove, every major GOP politician in Missouri, and about 3,000 other prominent Republicans around the country, Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin reiterated this afternoon that he intends to stay in the race. “I misspoke one word in one sentence in one day,” Akin told Mike Huckabee, whose radio show hosted the pariah for the second day in a row. He added that his party’s response seemed like “a little bit of an overreaction.”
From Akin’s point of view, there is certainly a strong logic to continuing his candidacy. As a PPP poll from last night showed, he’s actually still beating unpopular incumbent Claire McCaskill. This doesn’t mean he’ll be leading a few days from now, after the fallout from his imbecilic remarks has a chance to further seep into the public consciousness, but it does show that his gaffe was not quite the automatic candidacy-killer that many have made it out to be. Furthermore, while the Republican Party has threatened to withhold money from Akin, we’re dubious that they’ll follow through with it in the end if the race is close and they need that seat to flip control of the Senate. Even if the party does stand firm, Akin should receive plenty of monetary assistance from anti-abortion groups and advocates. In other words, this is still the best chance Akin will ever have to win a Senate seat, and he’s going for it.
Update: With all of two hours left before Akin’s withdrawal deadline, Mitt Romney finally called on the embattled senate candidate to step aside. “Today, his fellow Missourians urged him to step aside, and I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race,” Romney said in a statement.