August 22nd, 2012
09:13 AM ET
2 years ago

Sources: Republicans prepare to 'grind it out' as Akin stays in

Washington (CNN) – Republicans are preparing to, in the words of one senior GOP source, “grind it out for a while” after embattled U.S. Rep. Todd Akin declared he was remaining in the race for U.S. Senate in Missouri despite calls from his party’s leadership to step aside.

Republican officials said Wednesday that they do not expect Akin to bow out of his race against Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill in the next few days and aren’t sure if he’ll ever drop his bid. They are, however, monitoring a few crucial dynamics in the race that will play out in the days ahead.

Money

First is Akin’s ability to raise enough money to sustain his campaign going forward. Party leaders, including Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Sen. John Cornyn, head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, have said they won’t provide Akin any campaign cash and his colleagues have canceled fundraisers scheduled for the coming weeks. Outside groups like the super PAC Crossroads GPS have also vowed not to spend any money to help Akin.

But the question remains whether there are enough grassroots activists angry at the party for bailing on Akin who are willing to give money to sustain his campaign. One Republican source said they worry he will be able to “raise money and keep it going for a while.”

Also up for debate is how much money Akin actually needs to remain competitive. The six-term congressman won the GOP primary in early August after being outspent, and has been outraised and outspent many times in his political career. Running on a shoe string is nothing new for him.

Support

Republican Party officials are also watching to see what happens now that Akin is back in Missouri – specifically whether he feels isolated or supported in his home state. He spent the last few days at his campaign consultant’s office in Ohio, so his return home will be the first real chance to gauge his support on the ground.

GOP sources emphasize Akin is a devout evangelical Christian who believes God called on him to run. He has never had the support of the Republican Party establishment throughout his career and based on the safe margins of victory in re-election bids, he never really needed it. Thus, it doesn’t faze him now that the establishment, along with tea party groups and prominent conservative voices like Rush Limbaugh, are calling for him to get out of the way.

Republican officials also point out that Akin’s top advisers are his son and his wife, placing him in an insular environment where outside advice may not be heard. A senior GOP source concluded he “lives in a parallel universe.”

Damage to GOP

The question that remains, then, is how much Akin’s resistance to drop out will hurt the GOP.

Party officials say it hurts a lot. Republicans were relying on turning Missouri red in their bid to capture the U.S. Senate in November. Looking at the map, if they don’t win Senate seats in Montana, Wisconsin and North Dakota, and maintain hold of Massachusetts’ seat, it will be very hard to win the majority.

When it comes to Mitt Romney presidential hopes, GOP officials are upset that the furor over Akin’s comments amplifies the party platform adopted Tuesday calling for a constitutional ban on abortion that makes no exceptions for rape or incest. That’s not Romney’s position, thought it has been a platform plank for some time.

Republicans also bemoan the fact that the national discussion has turned to divisive social issues which could repel swing voters, and not on the economy which they say could attract them.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a co-chair of the Republican platform committee, said the party needed to better highlight women in leadership roles.

"We have some very articulate accomplished women who are elected officials at the local and state and the federal level, they have all shown the ability to lead and I think what people are wanting to do is to see women step forward and take a more prominent leadership role in our party," Blackburn said.

"They want to see how we're going to respond to this," she added.

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Filed under: Abortion • Missouri • Senate
soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. WILLARD MILTON ROMNEY IS A COWARD & TAX EVADER

    When candidates say that "God" told them to run, that's when I start to run. Michelle Bachmann said that God told her to run too. I wonder ow that Pray Away The Gay is working out for her. The TEAvangelical Taliban will have women in burkas if they ever assume complete power in Washington.

    August 22, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  2. harvey 60

    Don't worry, Karl Rove and the Kook Brothers will sneak him some campaign funds from one of the organizations that doesn't have to report any donors. By the time people find out who gave the money, the election will be over.

    August 22, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Republicans also bemoan the fact that the national discussion has turned to divisive social issues which could repel swing voters, and not on the economy which they say could attract them."

    You've got the most divisive Republican candidate to ever run for president on the ballot, who then chooses the most divisive V.P. candidate ... who not only helped wipe out Bill Clinton's surplus, but spent the past two years saying HELL NO to every Democratic proposal offered, tailspinning Congess to a all time low of "do nothingless" ... to run with him.

    So, yeah, I'd say Romney/Ryan probably will repel a great many voters. More than it attracts, to be sure.

    August 22, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  4. bb

    This creep needs to go. What a joke, he should hang out with Biden. Go see America 2016, u wont find it on yahoo

    August 22, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  5. Orwell sees it, again & again

    Todd Akin, You spoke your mind, as destined by he most high.
    You revealed the GOP platform to stop women from having any choice, including rape.
    You have the divine secret knowledge and are better than that flip-flip Robney.
    You are the real Christian.
    You should be POTUS, listen to the voices like Guv Perry from Texass.
    You are not a hypocrite like them.
    But you are a sociopath just like them.

    August 22, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  6. John

    The problem is his position is consistent with what is in the party platform. This is the GOP position......

    August 22, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  7. Al-NY,NY

    anyone that believes the SuperPACS and the RNC will not be funneling $ to this guy is oblivious to the truth. They are stuck with him and despite all their fake disagreement/whatever with what he said, they still adhere to his opinion and will do whatever it takes to make sure he wins

    August 22, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  8. myviewis

    The truth is that we don't know how many voters favor Rep. Akin because they share the same scientific view, as I have been reading on Scientology and Abortion I have found similarities between Scientology practices, ideas, beliefs with those of Rep. Akin. The question is how many Scientologists would cast a vote for Rep. Akin given his ideas on rape and abortion that they seem to share from what I have been reading.

    August 22, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  9. anagram_kid

    His statements won’t matter. There are still plenty of Missourians who will vote for him as he represents what they value- willful ignorance, abject hatred of women and minorities, a belief that their religion justifies their selfish behavior and the genuine desire to return our culture to the mid 50s.

    August 22, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  10. BLKMANinAmerica

    the repuks need to shut-up, change their crazy racists/sexest culture, pray to God and try it again sometime in 2090.

    August 22, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  11. BlkPwr817

    This wouldn't be a big deal if the top of the GOP didn't strongly agree with Akin & his policies. Can't wait to see how they're gonna "Grind it Out" Maybe it's more separation from the TRUTH as it has been going for the GOP.

    August 22, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  12. BLKMANinAmerica

    LMBAO.............as if that would do any good.

    August 22, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  13. Keeping it Real

    Democrats pretend that they are offended at Akin's remarks, yet condone remarks of hatred and racism by their own. It's unfortunate that they are unable to discuss the issues that are plaguing the country. I see no solutions being presented by Obama. All I see is a campaign of negative advertising which fails to address things that are important to normal people trying to support their families. The first thing Obama must do, is to put a stop to the campaign of lies and attack. He needs to condemn the Democrat attacks that have no basis in fact. He needs to condemn the rhetoric of hatred and racism by his own Vice President. Obama needs to stop trying to hammer Ryan on a old plan that was rewritten. Romney has done well in sticking to issues that Obama appears to be afraid of. Why can't Obama do these things? I fear he is just a puppet of the far left now. His record supports that claim.

    August 22, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  14. Donkey Party

    Akin merely said what all the GOP believes, what's the problem? Seriously folks, besides beheadings, what's the difference between the GOP and the Taliban or Al Queada? They all hate America and are trying to destroy it, so where are the differences? If anything, the GOP has a leg up on the competition since they're already inside the country.

    August 22, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  15. anagram_kid

    Republicans also bemoan the fact that the national discussion has turned to divisive social issues which could repel swing voters, and not on the economy which they say could attract them.
    -----------
    The irony of this is that more unwanted children are not going to help the economy. But then again, it has been fully demonstrated that Republicans are more interested in power and actually fixing the mess they made of the economy.

    August 22, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  16. Lip Service - nothing more

    Dear Republicans, many of us know that the issue of abortion is just too much of an argument that NO side will ever win, as well as same sex marriage. But as a swing voter I demand your detailed plan for job creation, negative GDP, and border security, etc... I cannot get you to answer simple questions of the most important issues, and at least by now (August 22, 2012) you and your ticket should have a detailed or basic plan on how to reduce unemployment. All I get are insults like "lib, "socialist", etc.

    We already now that Obama is not cutting it as POTUS. Believe me we know, since you have been reminding us (America) for the past 3.5 years. Now is your turn to show us, how much better you claim to be and lay out your plans. Why have Romney/Ryan have shown us their plans yet? Trashing the POTUS is NOT a plan. A plan contains numbers and timelines (not in decades), not insults or racial comments.

    WHERE IS YOUR PLAN?

    August 22, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  17. ApostasyUSA

    Republicans using their ignorance as a tool? No way?

    Like–global warming isn’t happening, evolution didn’t happen, low taxes and off shoring of jobs will bring us prosperity and growth & new jobs, trickle down from wealthy to the masses will happen if we just wait. Social security and Medicare breaks our budget.

    Next they’ll say after our jobs are sent to china, lowering our income, so we could go on diets, and lose weight. Unemployment will solve our obesity problem, therefore-guess what—our health costs will go down. Near starvation of the jobless will solve our deficit by cutting health care costs for obesity related disease.

    What is wrong with Republicans these days? Is crazy all they have left?

    Look, Roe v Wade was a solid ruling; it will not be overturned. Sorry. The philosophical conversation is not for the lazy ideological.

    I think the Republican Party likes to exploit people’s emotions using topics like abortion among others simply to rally their base and get some votes. Personally I do not think philosophical grounds are enough to remove the right of a woman to make her own choice about her body.

    I have got to ask Republicans though: Do you think life begins at conception but ends at birth?

    Furthermore, are you willing as voters to support the “social” systems necessary to avoid abortions within society; i.e. education, healthcare, ending poverty? I think Jesus himself would be turning in his mortal grave if he knew that the love, compassion, and forgiveness he so heavily preached was being ignored for what Convenient Christian Republicans have declared righteous for themselves.

    If you Christians are so righteous about protecting innocent life, then where were you when we caused the deaths of 100,000 Iraqi’s and 4000+ US service men and women? The fact there is a Christian Right is so sad because I guarantee you, if Jesus was a real man as described in biblical texts, he was definitely a liberal.

    I’m done with Republicans.
    It’s like Mr. T said; I pity the fool.

    August 22, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  18. Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe Hood Out-sourcing-Jobs Outsourcing-his-Money and Outsourcing America

    The true GOP platform and colors on ABORTION shows...and they are ALL bailing out on the sinking ship. It STINKS to high heavens!!!!

    Really, so is the GOP going to ask the RAPIST to pay child support....to a rape victim and take care of rape babies?
    Is the GOP going to provide free healthcare like our congressmen have to rape victims and rape babies?
    Is the GOP going to provide govt. assistance to rape victims and rape babies or leave them to fend for themselves?
    Is the GOP going to ask rape victims and rape babies to show BIRTH CERTIFICATES just to show that the RAPE is LEGITIMATE, FORCEFUL or ILLEGITIMATE?
    Is the GOP going to

    they lie to you about creating jobs and limited govt. while they are actually increasing the size of govt in your private life; invading your personal lives, raping women, and children...denigrating everyone by forcing rape victims to have their babies....while denying medicaid, or any govt. help for rape victim!!! Cutting off funding for govt programs while using the savings to give more TAX CUTS to billionaires & millionaires and starting a new TRILLION DOLLAR$$$ war in IRAN & SYRIA!!!!

    August 22, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  19. Mike

    In short, Republicans are very sad and disappointed and even scared that their national party platform – one that includes etching an 40+ year old SCOTUS decision's lost argument into the Constitution.

    The fact that more people aren't outraged about this is startling. This is our constitution we are talking about! What would they do with it if given free reign? Can you imagine?

    August 22, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  20. Never Underestimate

    Never underestimate the stupidity of the GOP voter.

    August 22, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  21. drake mallard

    They're not pro-life. You know what they are? They're anti-woman. Simple as it gets, anti-woman. They don't like them. They don't like women. They believe a woman's primary role is to function as a brood mare for the state.

    both Romney and Ryan backed proposals to outlaw abortion ... even in cases of rape and incest

    American Taliban: The GOP risks becoming Sharia Party

    August 22, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  22. Sorensen

    Akin, Ryan and Romney are all basically the same sick thing. Romney and Ryan of course are both cowards, while
    Akin is just a small, disgusting psycho. Again, well done GOP. Even Prairiebus must be embarrassed.

    August 22, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  23. Jon Conquer

    Don\t worry GOP.. he's on a Mission From God

    August 22, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  24. Phil muse

    Akin's chance of being elected depends on the Missouri voters. It comes down to this: how much of a hick state is Missouri?

    August 22, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  25. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Akin is Paul Ryan's dad. Americans hate this old white man.

    August 22, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
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