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Todd Akin screenshot
If Republicans can't get Todd Akin out of the race, they'll look for a way around Missouri.
Republicans are scrambling to figure out their best path to a Senate majority if Rep. Todd Akin continues to defy his party's establishment and stays in the Missouri Senate race. Unfortunately for Democrats, while the prospect of losing Missouri makes the GOP quest more difficult, Republicans still have options for picking up the four seats they need to take the Senate:
The GOP’s original plan to regain Senate control hinged on picking up seats in Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska and Missouri, states Mitt Romney is expected to win and where the Democratic Senate candidates are trailing in the polls. Without Missouri, party strategists say, there will be an enhanced focus on, and heavier investments in, open-seat races in Wisconsin and New Mexico, as well as Democrat Bill Nelson’s seat in Florida.
Recent polling shows Republican former Gov. Tommy Thompson with a lead over Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin, while Democratic Rep. Martin Heinrich is leading former Republican Rep. Heather Wilson in New Mexico, and Sen. Bill Nelson is leading Republican Rep. Connie Mack in Florida. So if Missouri doesn't pan out, Wisconsin becomes Republicans' best bet.

The truth is, Republicans have a friendly Senate map this year, and they have the money advantage. Fortunately for Democrats, Republicans also have candidates like Todd Akin, who occasionally let voters in on policy positions that the Republican party tries to keep secret even as it writes them into its platform.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 08:07 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  An overdose of tea is more toxic than expected. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    themis, Supavash, bewareofme, Larsstephens

    Time for a political stomach pumping!

    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

    by nailbender on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 08:13:58 AM PDT

  •  I think you got it, Laura (8+ / 0-)

    The anti-Akin noise from the GOP is an attempt to distract the public from the fact he actually represents the party's policies fairly well.

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
    ¡Boycott Arizona!

    by litho on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 08:21:04 AM PDT

  •  In a strange way, Akin staying in the race (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    can actually help other Republicans.  Yes, it may mean sacrificing the Missouri seat, but they can claim, "See, I'm not like him."  Akin will be given some compensation afterward.  The old "bad cop, good cop" routine.

    It will not be possible to save Medicare by destroying it.

    by brae70 on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 08:47:16 AM PDT

  •  The GOP has many paths, unfortunately (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They have very few seats to defend compared to us. We'll be facing the same problem in 2014 too. Our big classes came in after the '06 and "08 elections

    They are vulnerable in MA, NV, IN and possibly Maine (my hunch is that King will caucus with the majority. If he turns out to be the vote that makes the majority, he'll go with the party that wins the White House).

    I'll believe Missouri when Akin is still on the ballot on 9/26

    I keep hoping AZ comes in to play. That would help us.

    We are in deep trouble in NE (I know I'm supposed to care, but I really don't. Kerrey sux). ND, WI, and MT also look very dangerous right now.

    Virginia and Florida are definitely in play, but we'll hold them if Obama does too. I think Nelson in FL could even win with Obama losing a close race there.

    CT and NM are potentially in play. I'd say HI too (because Linda Lingle is a great recruit for the R's) but I'm pretty sure Obama will pull Mazie Hirono over the line regardless of who wins the presidency.

    If it's 50/50, or 50/49/King then the VP will make the difference. Biden will preside when the new Senate first meets in early January, but obviously everything would change after 12 noon on 1/20/13, if Ryan gets sworn in.

    Bottom line -- we'll lose at least a couple. We need to hold most of ours and hopefully break through in MA and maybe MO or NV or IN. Then King will caucus with us and we'll be at 51-49 or 52-48.

    The more the better because Sen. Manchin of WV is terrible. If the R's take the White House, I wouldn't be surprised if they lobby him hard to switch parties, or go Independent.

    •  Clarification: MO is currently a Dem seat.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ... it is under serious threat. I know Missouri would be like Kansas and Oklahoma if not for St. Louis and Kansas City, but I don't really get why McCaskill is so unpopular other than in general Right Lite has a short (1 or 2 terms only) shelf life for Dems.

      •  $11 million in negative ads (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Snow Camp, bewareofme, Larsstephens

        over the last year directed at her is part of it.

        I'm from the Elizabeth Warren Wing of the Democratic Party!

        by TomP on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 09:40:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  actually, most of missouri is more like alabama... (0+ / 0-)

        ...and mississippi than kansas.

        Without enormous turnout in St. Louis and KC, I predict that Akin will win this close race in the end- as long as he continues to campaign and his funding does not entirely disappear.

        In this specific instance, Obama hurts McCaskill in the race; the inclination of most people in Missouri is to assume that the president is a criminal and to not trust him about anything.

  •  all the more important to get Obama 4 more years.. (5+ / 0-)

    VETO power.

    "A recent study reveals Americans' heads are larger than they were 150 years ago but sadly there is no indication that the extra room is used for anything." - entlord

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 09:00:07 AM PDT

  •  Republicans also have Virginia (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    as a legitimate target.

    But they also have to defend Massachusetts and to a lesser extent Indiana and Arizona now too.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 07:10:32 PM PDT

  •  Let's get the candiadates from MT, ND and NE on (4+ / 0-)

    record about their stances on reproductive rights.

    North Dakota just had a fight on that subject, so folks will remember.
    MT is not a state that likes to be told what to do.

    Let's hoist as many Republican candidates on the Akin petard as we can.

    Please Vote for the Democratic nominee for President in 2012.

    by mungley on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 07:11:05 PM PDT

  •  Article excerpt sounds a little silly to me (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Woody, exterris

    Wisconsin is not going to be a secondary concern for Republicans. Now that Thompson's the nominee, it's one of their best opportunities, sad to say.

    Also, I'm not sure where the writer is getting that Republicans are ahead in MT and ND. If you take Rasmussen out of the averages in both those states at RCP, they seem like very competitive races.

  •  drown gov't all you like dear friend (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    durrati, JeffW

    it still won't fit in a vagina

  •  Todd Akin spoke the truth and spoke (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for the whole Republican party:  we've GOT to keep hammering on that.

  •  Why not just run an independent candidate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    hand-picked for the Lord-high Republican mucky-mucks and if he wins, he puts "R" beside his name? Or is it too late for that?

    God be with you, Occupiers. God IS with you.

    by Hohenzollern on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 07:17:33 PM PDT

  •  Missouri (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, Woody, exterris

    Breaks Broken

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 07:19:03 PM PDT

  •  Wisconsin easily makes the most sense. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody, exterris

    New Mexico and Florida should be pretty safe for Dems.  Thompson is an easy favorite against Baldwin.  I think Thompson is a surer win for the GOP than flipping either Montana or ND at this point.  

    Dem-to-GOP flip rating from most to least likely would look like this -

    Nebraska - lost
    Missouri (still)
    North Dakota
    Virginia - 50/50
    New Mexico

    With King in Maine hopefully caucusing with the Dems, we'll need to flip one of Nv, Ma or Az which would allow us to lose the top five from my above ranking and still hold the Senate.  

    An OFA Campaign Web Ad is the new Reid "sternly worded letter".

    by Jacoby Jonze on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 07:37:25 PM PDT

  •  Funny money and funny goings on with the votes? (0+ / 0-)

    Yeah, I've seen it happen in NM before.  And I see Gov. Martinez, her SoS, and Heather Wilson right in the middle of all of it.  I better get some more $ to Heinrich tomorrow!

    Damn it all to hell.  I pray NMexicans stay with Obama!

    I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

    by KayCeSF on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 08:36:17 PM PDT

  •  If the leads on TPM's polltracker hold (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats would actually break even on Senate seats. They would lose Nebraska and Wisconsin while picking up Maine and Indiana.

    And of course, things could turn around in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Nevada, which would give them +3 - but for now, holding the majority at 53 seats is a better scenario than anyone could have predicted after the 2010 bloodbath.

  •  Well, I think that the GOP should... (0+ / 0-)

    run another candidate against Claire McCaskill and Todd Akin!

    That'll show them!

    Ugh. --UB.

    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of East Somalia!"

    by unclebucky on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 01:49:24 AM PDT

  •  it is too late for him to be removed... (0+ / 0-) the nominee.  He missed the deadline for withdrawing from the race; without some sort of action taken by a court, his name will remain on the ballot as the republican candidate whether he continues his campaign or not.

  •  We need to support Todd (0+ / 0-)

    As Patriotic Americans, it’s time that we all contact his office ( and tell him to hang in tough. (636) 207-7986

    The Nation needs Honest Men who courageously articulate Republican Party beliefs and goals.

    Especially Women. They need a clarifying spokesman like Akin.


    by msobel on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 09:21:17 AM PDT

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