Todd Akin Rape Comments Could Cost GOP Missouri Senate Seat

It will be interesting to see how Akin navigates the fallout from this inexcuseable blunder. The New York Times' Nate Silver has more:

It can be easy to overrate the importance of scandals in the first few days after they occur. Many voters will vote along party lines almost no matter what, and others will decide based on factors like the economy or an incumbent senator’s voting record.

Nevertheless, my view is that insensitive comments concerning rape are especially likely to be deemed inexcusable by voters, and that the swing against Mr. Akin could be larger than the average of 10 percentage points from similar events.

Some Republican activists on social media platforms, perhaps going through a similar calculation, are calling on Mr. Akin to withdraw from the race. An effort to replace a candidate on the ballot would create controversy of its own, potentially including legal challenges. But if the swing against Mr. Akin in the polls is 10 percentage points or more, it might be an avenue Republicans would need to consider if they want to maximize their chances of taking over the seat.

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published this page in In The News 2012-08-19 23:00:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy