Akin Stays In Race, Political Experts Weigh in on Campaign Direction
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Political experts say there are still lots of questions to answer to get an understanding of the direction Missouri Republican candidate Todd Akin’s campaign will go. Akin did not bow out of the race without court papers Tuesday by the 5 p.m. deadline. But experts say the road may be a rocky one for Akin.
Akin is trying to unseat Democrat Claire McCaskill for U.S. Senate, but came under fire when he made a remark to a Saint Louis T.V. station about a “legitimate rape.”
Department chair Mona Lyne from the University of Missouri Kansas City’s political science department said top Democrats are already trying to connect Akin`s remarks to GOP Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan. Lyne said both co-sponsored a bill with the words ‘forcible rape’ in it. The language was ultimately scrapped after an uproar.
“If it kind of dies down and doesn’t stick to Ryan the way that the Democrats want it to, that’s possible it remains a very close race,” Lyne said.
GOP political strategist Annie Presley with the Bryan Cave Law Firm, said Akin now has to make up millions of dollars, after the National Republican Senatorial Committee pulled the plug on his funding.
“It’ll be very very difficult to buy enough media to remind those voters who he is and what he’s about and get them to the polls,” Presley said.
This all unfolding as both Akin and his opponent, McCaskill, try to snag the undecided voters. Experts said when it’s clear who those undecided voters are, that will determine the direction of this race.
Akin and the GOP party face another deadline on Sept. 25. It’s the last day his name can be removed from the ballot with a court order. If Akin relents and steps aside, Presley said a committee of Missouri Republican officials will elect the new candidate and it may or may not be John Brunner or Sarah Steelman, both of whom were in this race.
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