OK

Todd Akin caricature
He's not doomed, even if he stays in.
Obviously, I don't want Todd Akin to drop out of the Missouri Senate race. I want Democrats to keep the Senate after all. So he shouldn't drop out because I don't want him to drop out.

But the only thing that matters is what Akin himself thinks.

With rumors that the NRSC and Karl Rove's Crossroads are pulling out of Missouri so long as he's in the race, chances are he's a goner. He'd be hard-pressed to stay in the race without their millions backing him up. Missouri might be getting redder, but it's not Oklahoma just yet.

Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid improbably survived his 2010 race by manipulating the GOP primary to get himself crazy Sharron Angle as an opponent. But that was Nevada—a purple-to-blue state with a burgeoning Latino population.

Missouri is pretty much the opposite of Nevada—a red-and-getting-redder state with demographics that generally favor Republicans—it ranks just 38th amongst all states in Latino population (2.1 percent), 13th in persons older than 65 (13.5 percent), and 16th in white evangelicals (27 percent).

Freshman Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill won by just 2.4 percent in the Democratic wave (and non-presidential) year of 2006, and has—by far—suffered the worst poll numbers of any incumbent this cycle.

The bottom line is this: Assuming he was adequately funded, Akin would still be favored given his state's demographics and the woeful state of Claire McCaskill's favorability numbers.

Obviously, any other Republican at this point would be more favored, but that doesn't mean Akin is doomed. Far from it. And if Akin wants to bring his special brand of crazy to the Senate, this is his only chance. He's got to ride out this storm.

His problem of course, is that he said out loud what Republicans want kept hidden from voters. Of course they all believe this "forcible rape" crap. There were 227 co-sponsors of that legislation, including Paul Ryan himself! But with their potential Senate majority once again endangered by the crazy (like it was in 2010), establishment Republicans clearly have less tolerance for this kind of nonsense.

Social conservatives have rallied around Akin, like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer. They're salivating at the possibility of having a true believer in the Upper Chamber, and one who isn't constrained by niceties such as "science" and "reality." However, they don't have the kind of money needed to keep him afloat.

The other potential savior could've been Rush Limbaugh, but he's on vacation this week. Too bad for Akin.

As I publish this, Twitter is divided between rumors that Akin is quitting tomorrow, and rumors that he won't. The obvious move would be to concede and quit. But if he decides to stick with it, it wouldn't be irrational in the least.

Originally posted to kos on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 11:46 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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