Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Newt! To The Rescue

(Editorial cartoon by Jim Morin / Miami Herald (September 25, 2012) and featured at McClatchy DC.  Click on image to enlarge and then be kind enough to return.)

Newt Gingrich has decided to back Todd Akin, the Missouri Republican who is challenging Blue Dog Claire McCaskill.  McCaskill, who looked to be defeated by just about anybody the GOP threw at her, surged ahead when Akin made his oh-so-stupid "mispoken" comment on women's magical physiology when it comes to rape.  Even the Republicans were outraged by the comments and the furor they caused, so traditional campaign resources were yanked as they urged Akin to step down so that they could grab that Senate seat.  Akin refused and has been depending on the Tea Party regulars who voted for him in the primary to financially support his campaign.  Up until a week ago, Akin trailed McCaskill, but then Newt Gingrich appeared with Akin and urged the GOP to support him.

Missouri Republican Todd Akin is moving forward with his go-it-alone U.S. Senate bid, which got a little less lonely when former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich raised money for him in suburban St. Louis.

Akin has shown no signs that he’ll give in to Republican leaders’ urging that he abandon efforts to unseat Senator Claire McCaskill, a first-term Democrat. Today is the last day he could get a court order to withdraw.

Instead, Akin said yesterday at a campaign event with Gingrich that he anticipates national Republican groups will resume their support of his candidacy in the days before the election.

“I think the money’s going to be coming,” Akin said, adding that the funds he needs to compete with McCaskill “can come from a lot of different sources.”

And you know what?  I think the money's going to be coming as well:  from some of those different sources Akin hinted at and from the regular GOP sources.  Republicans want that Senate seat badly.  But it won't be because of Newt's intercession.  It will be because Akin doesn't look quite like the lost cause he once was.

A St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Mason-Dixon poll conducted Aug. 22-23 showed McCaskill with a 9 percentage-point lead. A Public Policy Polling survey conducted Aug. 28-29 showed the race was virtually tied, with Akin trailing McCaskill by one percentage point.  

McCaskill isn't exactly my favorite Democrat.  She is much too conservative.  She has voted with the caucus just often enough to avoid the DINO label.  But she sure as hell beats the alternative.  I hope the DNC realizes that.



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