Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Clock Ticking On GOP Senate Candidate Akin

Todd Akin, the Missouri GOP Senate candidate under fire for his remark about how victims of 'legitimate rape' rarely get pregnant' is under increasing pressure to leave the senate race and resign his nomination.

According to Missouri law, if he does it today, he can simply do it unilaterally with a declaration. After that, he would have to go through the courts. Not only would that eat up more time, but it might cut down on available replacements as people make other commitments.

Akin appears to be hanging on, so far. He just put out a new ad asking for “forgiveness” from the voters of Missouri and acknowledging that he used “the wrong words in the wrong way.”

Akin's faux pas has severely cut into his support among voter in his state, with most recent polling showing him narrowly ahead as opposed to the virtual shoo in he was before against incumbent Claire McKaskill, who is widely unpopular in the state.

What happens if Akin quits the race? If he does it before end of business today, the state's Republican central committee would huddle together to pick his replacement.

If Akin does not drop out by today’s deadline, he has until September 25th to withdraw via a court order. In that scenario, State law would require Akin to cover any costs for reprinting ballots, and the GOP central committee would select a substitute candidate.

They have 28 days from a candidate’s withdrawal to name a replacement, so if Akin drops out today, Missouri Republicans would need to select a new candidate by September 18. It's almost certain they would probably try to name someone much sooner, and in fact I'd be surprised if they haven't already quietly done so in the expectation Akin may yield to nationwide calls from Republicans and pull out.

Since there are already candidates running for his vacated House seat, ending his senate race amounts to Akin ending his political career unless the state Republican committee can pull some strings.

Akin is probably waiting to see how this 'forgiveness' ad polls and will likely make a decision fairly soon so he doesn't get stuck with ballot printing costs.

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