If Todd Akin pulls this off, it will be more than he who is vindicated. It was also be the pro-life community.
After supposedly suffering a nine point drop following his infamous rape remark, to fall behind Claire McKaskill 49-44%, could it be Akin has already recovered? Yes, according to a new poll commissioned by Family Research Council.
If Akin regains his foothold, it will put knee-jerk Republicans in a deservedly tough spot. Two days ago RNC Chairman Reince Priebus insanely declared, “He can be tied, we’re not gonna send him a penny.” Priebus, pictured right, has said he believes life begins at conception, although he must also believe babies whose fathers are rapists can nevertheless be murdered.
Seriously, are Republicans so afraid of feminists, and so afraid of defending the pro-life issue, that they’ll throw themselves under the same bus they threw Akin?
Reported Politico, yesterday:
A survey commissioned by the Family Research Council — the prominent social conservative group standing with Akin… found that Akin now pulls 45% support to McCaskill’s 42%.
That’s not to say Akin hasn’t sustained damage: his personal image is weak, with 44% of voters having a favorable impression of him and 50% having an unfavorable impression. But he still leads McCaskill by 10 points among independent voters and in the conservative-leaning state, Akin wins about the same percentage of Republicans (78%) that McCaskill wins among Democrats (82%.)
Pollster Fritz Wenzel underlines the importance of Akin’s support on the right: “McCaskill holds a 58% lead over Akin among very liberal voters, but that pales compared to Akin’s 81% to 5% lead among very conservative voters in Missouri.”
“Despite the firestorm of news in the Senate race over the past few weeks, most voters have already made up their mind in the race, the survey shows,” Wenzel writes. “The fact that 80% said they were firm in their choice certainly indicates that this is a race that will be decided more by ideology and turnout efforts by the campaigns and less by breaking news that flashes across the news pages and cable news channels.”…
The FRC poll was conducted by Wenzel Strategies from Aug. 27 to Aug. 28, testing 829 voters for a margin of error of plus or minus 3.38%. The sample was 32.7% Democrats, 34.1% Republicans and 33.2% independents.
As the Huffington Post points out, the Akin controversy has created new pressure in the “ever-slumbering tensions between the Republican Party’s two core wings: social conservatives and corporate interests.”
While Republican Party elites immediately not only abandoned Akin but attacked him with a vengeance, pro-lifers stood by him. From CNN, August 24:
Huckabee at one point compared the National Republican Senatorial Committee to “union goons” who “kneecap” their enemies.
The former Arkansas governor said party bosses were “opening up rounds and rounds” of ammunition on Akin and “then running over with tanks and trucks and leaving him to be ravaged by the other side.”
“This is unprecedented, to see to this orchestrated attempt to humiliate and devastate a fellow Republican,” Huckabee said of Akin, who has deep ties to the Christian conservative movement….
Huckabee said he spoke directly with NRSC officials this week and was assured that they would begin to dial back their offensive against Akin. He said party officials specifically told him they would stop pressuring Akin’s consultants and campaign vendors to drop the congressman as a client.
Gee, thanks, GOP.
A final salient point in a Hill article today echoes mine from last week: Republicans clearly panicked and committed a knee-jerk reaction that will hopefully become a much-needed learning experience…
Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) told The Hill that Akin had made a “very bad” mistake with his comments but that the party acted too quickly in calling for him to drop out.
“Anyone who’s the nominee of the party has the right to get the opportunity to see if he could right the ship,” he said. “I don’t think they gave him time to right the ship. I share their outrage over what he said and how he handled the situation, but he’s the nominee and he deserves the opportunity to see how these things [play out]. You don’t act in politics in the passion of the moment. If you do, you’re going to make a lot of mistakes.”
This would not have happened had Republicans called social conservative leaders instead of freaking out, which was a slight social conservatives should call them out on.