Will Todd Akin's Rape Comments Put Missouri Into Purple Column?
If you haven’t heard Todd Akin’s comment yet…get ready…
Wait, are you absolutely sure?
Okay…here we go…
Key phrases (via TPM)…
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. Let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work, or something,” Akin said. “I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”
So let’s breeze past the obvious stupidity of the comments and go to the political impact.
Concerning his upcoming Senate race, I think Akin just lost it. He’s running against incumbent moderate Democrat Claire McCaskill and this is the type of unforced error that makes Akin look like an unabashed radical. And Missourians don’t like radicals.
Do note that this was going to be a tough race for McCaskill, and Repubs knew that Akin wasn’t their best bet in this race…but I would be shocked if Akin put up much of a challenge now. I’ve even heard from a GOP operative in Kansas who says that his/her GOP friends in Missouri will now be voting for Claire.
That brings us to the presidential race. Could women disgusted by Akin’s remarks help swing Missouri in Obama’s favor? You bet. And they come in the form of the face of Paul Ryan.
Paul Ryan co-sponsored a federal “personhood” amendment. He voted to defund Planned Parenthood. He opposes all abortions, except when the life of the mother is at risk. And he supports a federal bill requiring women to get an ultrasound before an abortion.
If this sounds like an ominous ad from the Obama for president campaign, something like it could soon be coming to a TV near you. These are among the positions the Wisconsin congressman has taken in his career that Democrats are bound to highlight in the weeks ahead in ads, press conferences and rallies as they try to widen President Barack Obama’s lead among women over Mitt Romney in polls.
So yeah…my predict will be that all eyes will be on Missouri in November.