Oh I Think He May Be Staying

August 20, 2012 6:40 p.m.

Snap PPP Poll shows the Missouri Senate race essentially unchanged: Akin over McCaskill 44-43. Little changed from previous poll.

Late Update: Surprised? I can’t say I am. And you shouldn’t be either. Don’t underestimate partisan division and affiliation, the fact that Akin’s views aren’t that odd or disagreeable to a lot of people and the simple fact that people don’t change their minds that easily in 24 hours. But … this is a poll that only Claire McCaskill could love.What do we know so far? We know that the entire institutional GOP wants Akin out right now. We know Akin doesn’t want to leave. Now you have a poll that says he’s at least nominally still in the lead and that the entire controversy has had zero effect on Akin’s standing in the race. I was just tweeting back and forth with GOP uber-consultant Alex Castellanos who says this kind of news takes more than 24 hours to sink in. And he’s right. But you certainly can’t expect Akin and the family members running his campaign to make that adverse inference against himself. Having seen GOP luminaries nationwide spend the last 36 hours tearing off his head and crapping down his neck, far more likely Akin says wait, I could still win and f’ all of those folks telling me to give up what I fought so hard to win.

But here are two more troublesome parts of the equation. For professional Republicans losing the Missouri senate race is just half the equation, maybe not even the greater half. The other part is the affect that has in other marginal races across the country. The effect of talking about the Religious Right Rape Scale (i.e., judging all rapes on a scale of 1 to 10, with slut rape being a 1 and ‘legitimate rape’ being a 10).

For Akin, there’s a different problem. Yes, a lot of Missouri Republicans don’t think he said anything wrong. And most of those who do still don’t want to vote for Claire McCaskill. But consider that Republicans across the country have gone on record saying that Akin is an offensive idiot who isn’t worthy of being a senator. Over time that’s going to be a hard burden to carry through 10 weeks, especially if you start out at a tie.

Like I said, it’s a poll only Claire McCaskill could love.

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