Nearly Half of GOP Insiders: Don't Abandon Akin
Despite nearly universal condemnation for Missouri GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin, nearly half of GOP Insiders and over a third of Democratic Insiders said that the National Republican Senatorial Committee and other outside groups should spend money to get him elected in the latest National Journal Political Insiders Poll.
Akin drew heavy bipartisan fire for his controversial remarks about "legitimate rape," but despite pressure from Republicans refused to bow out of the race against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.
While a majority of Insiders from both parties said that Akin should not receive financial support, 35 percent of Democratic Insiders and 46 percent of GOP Insiders answer that with the Senate at stake and Akin forging ahead with his campaign, the only logical course was to stand by him.
"51 is 51," one GOP insider said brusquely.
Should the National Republican Senatorial Committee and other outside groups spend money to help candidate Todd Akin in Missouri?
"Control of the Senate is at stake. So, as painful as it might be to support this clown, they really don't have the luxury of writing off this seat -- even if the candidate has redefined selfishness and taken it to a whole new level," another Republican Insider added.
Others said that the implications of a GOP Senate majority were too critical to ignore.
"Do you want 'Obamacare' or not?" one Republican Insider asked.
Democrats who said Akin should be financed also pointed out that despite the shelling he took among established Republicans and the national media, he still had a chance to win in Missouri.
"Romney will win the state in a walk -- and his voters will vote for who? Not McCaskill," one Democratic insider said.
Others were looking out for their own party's prospects in answering in the affirmative.
"Democrats really appreciate the continued opportunity to drive women away from Republicans for years to come," one Democrat taunted. "Keep it up, Neanderthals!"
Still, many of both parties said a one-seat pickup in the Senate wasn't worth the damage it would do to the national Republican Party brand.
"Ever since Akin opened wide and let fly, we've had to deal with an increasing gender gap in other states. We don't want to confirm what moderate women seem to think about the Republican Party," one Republican said.
"Honestly, our party has to start drawing a line and withhold support from candidates with whacked-out ideas. We have to start insisting on candidates with some brains," another GOP Insider added.
"Republicans should show their wingers that they won't support a total crackpot," a Democratic Insider chimed in. "Long term, it is in the Republican Party's best interest."
Many also said that it would be hard to keep the loose-cannon Akin under control in the Senate, especially as he's endured criticism from nearly every major Republican Party leader.
"After what's transpired, he'll never be an accountable member of the Republican team," one Democrat said.
"If elected, he could likely be a caucus of one," a Republican insider echoed.
Still others noted that they thought it would be a mistake to support Akin on purely moral grounds.
"Winning should never be more important than principle," one Republican said. "If it is, we deserve to get beaten."