Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, is the chairman of the National Republican Senate Committee and is thus charged with winning an outright majority of Republicans in the Senate to take control of that body. That job has been complicated by Todd Akin of Missouri.
Cornyn, with the control of the Senate at hazard, has to decide what to do about Akin.
Recapping the Todd Akin problem
According to Bloomberg, the problem started in August when Akin, a candidate for the Senate in Missouri, suggested that in cases of "legitimate rape" a woman's body is less likely to become pregnant. While the resulting firestorm caused Akin to quickly apologize, the damage was done. A number of Republican leaders, including Cornyn, called on Akin to withdraw from the race to replace Senator Claire McCaskill, the incumbent Democrat. Cornyn has vowed to withhold financial support from Akin according to the Courier-Journal. Akin has ignored the calls to withdraw and has stayed in the race.
Conservatives start to support Akin
Akin is actually using Cornyn's withholding of NRSC support as a fund raising tool, calling him a "party boss" and a "Washington insider" in an attempt to drum up support from grassroots conservatives and tea party activists, according to the Dallas Morning News. Bloomberg is reporting that former House Speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and former Governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee are raising money and support for Akin.
Still no money for Akin, but support from the NRSC
Bloomberg also reports that in an apparent reversal of policy, Cornyn's NRSC has officially endorsed Akin in his senate run, perhaps bowing to reality that Akin, for all of his flaws, is the nominee. But, according to the Huffington Post, Cornyn has said that Akin is still unlikely to get monetary support from his campaign committee.
Money may still be forthcoming to Akin
According to an Oct 1 story in the Houston Chronicle, Cornyn and his lieutenant at the NRSC has left the door open for last-minute support for Akin after all. The theory is that if Akin closes the gap between himself and McCaskill, a last-minute infusion of cash would put Akin over the top. Disgust at Akin's "legitimate rape" comment would be trumped by the need to take control of the Senate for the Republican Party. The story notes that polling since Akin's unfortunate remarks are mixed, with McCaskill leading in six out of 10 polls taken.
Texas resident Mark Whittington writes about state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network.
- Politics & Government
- Todd Akin