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An advisor to Gov. John Kasich is taking heat for comments that Democrats say point to a Republican effort to suppress black turnout in Ohio in November.

"I guess I really actually feel we shouldn't contort the voting process to accommodate the urban -- read African-American -- voter-turnout machine," Doug Preisse, chairman of the county Republican Party and elections board member, told the Columbus Dispatch. "Let's be fair and reasonable."

Preisse voted against weekend early voting hours, days that have traditionally resulted in high African-American turnout.

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The conserative magazine National Review has called on Todd Akin to step down as Republican nominee in the Missouri Senate race, though the editors doubt he will:

Akin has backed off from his remarks, albeit with the politician’s excuse of “misspeaking.” People who make such remarks on television are typically capable of making more like them, or rather incapable of exercising the judgment to refrain. We suspect that this same lack of judgment will cause Akin to blow past tomorrow evening’s deadline for him to leave the race and allow the Republicans to select a better nominee. We hope the congressman, who surely wants to see a Senate with as much conservative strength as possible next year, will prove us wrong.


Todd Akin minimized the political impact of his "legitimate rape" remarks in an interview with Sena Hannity on Monday, saying he expected the Missouri Senate election would turn into a referendum on Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and President Obama.

"I made a single error in one sentence," he said. "Maybe the Democrats or certain people won't want to forget that or will want to use that as a political weapon, but I think that the people of Missouri are big enough to take a look at the whole package."

Todd Akin told Sean Hannity on Monday that he will not drop out of the Missouri Senate race, despite pressure from Republican officals.

"I'm announcing today that we're going to stay in," he said. He added that he was aware of Tuesday's 5 PM deadline for him to drop out in order for the state party to replace him on the ballot. 

Todd Akin said unspecified "medical reports" were responsible for his claim that women are unlikely to get pregnant from rape, but that he has since changed his mind. 

"Well, my only point in that was I had heard from medical reports that rape is such a traumatic type of thing that there's a reaction," Akin told Sean Hannity Monday on his radio program. "But that's wrong and thats the second thing I've apologized for. When you look at it, rape is just rape, it's horrible, and it's abhorrent to me." 

Republicans in Missouri and Republican Party officials are looking for a replacement for Rep. Todd Akin, a Republican source in Missouri tells TPM. "The walls are quickly collapsing," the source said. "No one in Missouri is standing by Akin." The source said that Akin, who has said he is staying in the race, is currently at the Ohio office of Republican media strategist Rex Elsass.

The source said that GOP officials are considering Jim Talent, State Auditor Tom Schweich and John Brunner, who came in second behind Akin in the Republican primary.

"Republicans need Todd Akin to withdraw immediately," the source said.

Updated Aug.20, 4:42 p.m. ET

Rep. Todd Akin's fellow Republican Senate candidates are quickly backing away from his explosive comment Sunday that "legitimate rape" does not lead to pregnancy.

Akin has issued a statement saying he "misspoke," and has acknowledged that rape can lead to pregnancy. But other candidates are taking precautions to prevent the outrage associated with Akin's charge from also tarring their campaigns.

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Minutes after the NRSC urged him to quit the Missouri Senate race and a major GOP super PAC promised not to help him, Rep. Todd Akin's (R) campaign Twitter feed posted an update reading "I am in this race to win."


Mitt Romney reportedly told Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) to reconsider his decision to stay in the Missouri Senate race Monday, advising that he take the next 24 hours to make a final decsion. Campaign rules in Missouri allow Akin to drop out by Tuesday and be replaced. Romney "stopped short" of calling on Akin to leave the race, according to National Journal

The Romney campaign told reporters that Romney plans to make the statement in an interview on WMUR in New Hampshire.