August 22nd, 2012
09:13 AM ET
6 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.


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.


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. 6km North of GZero

    Akin is on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. He believes he will lose his senate bid because of the liberal lamestream media, not because he believes the Earth is flat. I guess God told him so.

    August 22, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. 8.3% unemployment - Over 8% 42 Straight months and the Obama Jobs DEPRESSION continues unabated

    ghostriter - The housing crisis happened on Bush's watch and with the republican led congress in charge.
    The push to give low income people mortgages and homes they could NOT afford came LONG before George Bush was ever elected. It was how the real estate bubble was pushed and pushed and pushed. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Democrats darling and protected by them for years, GUARANTEED these loans!! THE US GOVERNMENT guarantted these loans!!

    AGAIN, and AGAIN, government interference and manipulation of the free market system is a DISASTER. But the Democrats and Obama think they know better. They think they are smarter than everybody else and can build a house of cards that willl not fall. Over and over again, they build the same house of cards THAT DOES COLLAPSE.

    August 22, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Outside groups like the super PAC Crossroads GPS have also vowed not to spend any money to help Akin
    Why? Isn't Crossroads ver, VERY, VERYYYY anti-abortion? So what's the problem? I distinctly remember them speaking at the church I used to attend, waxing to a spit shine about their anti-abortion pro-life stance.
    There appears to be a...wait for it....huge contradiction going on here folks.
    You can't conceive these people and the crap they're desperately trying to sell you even if you were under the influence of the most exotic hallucigenics known to mankind.
    Obama 2012. Stop the madness.

    August 22, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. tracy

    I have to disagree with those like GA Arnold who say this is a sideshow and the election should just be about the economy. Yes the economy is important. But frankly as a woman I do believe that it is important that we NOT elect leaders who are willing to make decisions concerning my body without even knowing how it works, or who harbor flippant, unserious attitudes about violence against women. IF the GOP wasn't simultaneously writing a platform that calls for the outlawing of abortion without an exception for rape then I might consider Akiin a sideshow, but he and leaders like him seem to be in synch with the mainstream of his party. The rights of women to have their bodies be under their own control IS a real campaign issue.

    August 22, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  5. Pander Bear

    Gotta love that the party of morals and values is having their morals and values to justifiably questioned. Smug moral superiority is what will doom the GOP.

    August 22, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. 8.3% unemployment - Over 8% 42 Straight months and the Obama Jobs DEPRESSION continues unabated

    McCaskill voted for Obamacare and will not vote to repeal it. For that reason and that reason alone people need to vote for Akin. Everything else doesn't matter. If McCaskill stays, Obamacare stays. Is THAT what you want Missouri? I didn't think so. Don't let the left con you into staying home and think the race is unwinnable.

    August 22, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    Grind? GRIND? What does THAT mean?

    August 22, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. johnmenacherjr

    I in no way agree with akins. However he is just repeating what the party tells him. Don't beleive me look at their plank in the campaign, no exceptions on the rape thing. I think akins was just trying to figure out how to justify the parties position.

    August 22, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  9. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Akin says he's staying in the race and he argues that he can still win the race. Well, if he does in fact win the race, I hope all the women in Missouri leaves the state so they don't get raped.

    August 22, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. ST

    I can't understand those who are saying we are not talking about the real issues, and talk about Akin's issue. Here is my question: If you talk about the problem you have, does it change immediately the way you want it to be???? All issues affect us, not only jobs, economy or whatever!

    August 22, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  11. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Akin shouldn't quit because he only represents the hidden agenda of the Republican party and that's the only reason they call for his resignation.

    August 22, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. Marie MD

    This guy is on the science committee? As what? A rare mutant specimen?
    If it wasn't so sad and dangerous thinking this would almost, almost, be funny and it isn't!!!
    Any word from his buddy voter the vp nominee?

    August 22, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  13. Core republican Values

    Core republican Value #3: When it comes down to a decision between the yourself vs. country/party, always choose... yourself!

    August 22, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  14. Marry

    Anyone even considering voting for the GOP “lives in a (disgusting!) parallel universe.”
    It is an absolute insult what the GOP/TP (Romney, Ryan, etc. etc.) are proposing and their yapping about the “bad Presidents record” makes me sick. Compared with the GOP record over the last decade, the Presidents record is simply fantastic, even with the bad hand he was dealt by the GOP! And without the GOP/TP sabotage after they had brought the country to the brink, the President would have been able to have the country a lot better situation to the benefit of all!
    The GOP calling for a constitutional ban on abortion that makes no exceptions for rape or incest. They really have nerve! What have they EVER done to support chances for children or families to move "up" besides being for sending them off to war to protect THEIR riches and privilegs? This is just one of hundreds reasons to stay away from this incredible shameful group of vultures! Dear friends PLEASE think and inform yourself and then vote a strait Dem ticket!!!

    August 22, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. Greater Good

    Grind it out, GOP. Really? Is that the best you can do? Your policies adversely affect women, minoriities, the envirnment, public education, public sector employees, gays, the poor, the sick, seniors and the list goes on...all so the super rich can get more tax breaks. You decry big government, but then you adopt a platform that says women must deliver their baby/babies, even if the event of rape or incest, and even if it imperils the life of the mother .

    How you are polling at nearly 50% with the voters is the greatest smoke and mirrors trick of all time.

    August 22, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  16. asm_ith

    It is really impossible to know the extent to which Obama's policies have worked, could have worked, made things worse, etc.. This is because so many policies have been thwarted by the Congress. So while some policies have been enacted, many have not. It may be true that the enacted policies have not been as successful as many would like, no one can say whether the full set of policies could have worked or not. Congress bears as much responsibility as Obama for the lack of jobs and for the failure of the economy to move forward as fast as we want. From the beginning, the Republicans have said that anything that Obama was in favor of, they would be against. They would probably vote against the Ryan budget if Obama came out for it.

    August 22, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. No Thanks

    This election is getting interestinger and interestinger.

    August 22, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  18. Terry

    All brought to us via the party that convened a panel on womens health that was all male. Talk about intrusive government, they seem to be obssesed with who is having sex with whom, and who wants to marry whom.

    Its the economy stupid! The sooner they stop using middle class America as a pawn in their power games and begin to work for the people that elected them, the sooner we can get people to work !!!!

    August 22, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  19. ted

    this whole thing will blow over and the RNC will secretly give Akin money and Akin will win and the GOP/RNC will be all cheers and victorious and will change their opinion to say that they knew Akin would get through it and hooray for Akin. that is the way it works. You all know darn well the RNC and GOP are working overtime behind the scenes to get this guy elected.

    August 22, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  20. once upon a horse

    Republicans like to say they favor life of the unborn child....UNTIL of course that child is born, winds up on welfare and has to watch PBS as a baby sitter and possibly go to headstart and live on food stamps all programs that they want to cut. Just saying......

    August 22, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    My in-laws are from St Louis, Missouri.
    Having said that let me just add that this braintrust will get elected.
    Missouri really belongs in the deep, deeeep south.
    Obama 2012. Seriously America.

    August 22, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. Mr. Moderate

    One needs to look no further than 2001 to 2007 to see how the Republicans have been playing pro life voters for fools. During that time, they had complete control of the legislative and executive branches of the Federal government and did nothing to limit abortion. They know that by using it as a wedge issue, they have a reliable block of single issue voters who without abortion would realize that Republicans are not really pro-life after all. (war, capital punishment, the elimination of the social safety net)

    August 22, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |

    Who should I make the check out to Mr. Akin? Those darn republicans throwing their guy under the bus is just plain wrong.(add sarcasm here)

    August 22, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  24. Don

    Between this clown, Jan Brewe and the othersr, Obama should be able to stop running ads altogether and just let these people get all the airtime they need.

    August 22, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  25. TY

    You know that the congress and the party of NO /RYAN has RAPED the American people for the last 12 years........

    August 22, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
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