A poll taken by PPP on August 28 and 29 has Sen. Claire McCaskill leading Republican challenger Todd Akin by only one point, 45-44. PPP is the same organization that showed McCaskill leading Akin by only one point just after Akin made his stupid remark about rape and reproduction. However, in that poll PPP oversampled Republicans to the tune of 39% R and only 30% D.
In PPP’s latest poll of the race, Republicans made up 35 percent of the sample, while Dems made up 33 percent. Thus, the latest poll is worthy of consideration.
Akin, no doubt, will consider it. The likelihood of him dropping out of the race seems quite small as long as at least one reasonably credible poll shows him basically even with his opponent.
How should the Republican Party in general regard this race? Assuming that other polling shows it to be competitive, and assuming that Akin is dead set on continuing his run, I believe the Party eventually should quietly get behind Akin. That doesn’t mean a public embrace or joint Romney-Akin appearances. It means helping him behind the scenes.
As I argued here, Akin’s comment, as bad it was, should not be considered disqualifying; nor does it make McCaskill as good a choice for the Senate as Akin. Considering that this race could decide which party controls the Senate, there will likely come a time when Republicans should stop displaying over-the-top outrage at Akin and focus on the real stakes in this race.
JOHN adds: Todd Akin may be dumb, but he isn’t dumb enough to vote for Harry Reid as Majority Leader. Besides, the Democrats helped Akin get the nomination, so Republicans shouldn’t be embarrassed to help him defeat Claire McCaskill.