As much as Republicans are bemoaning the Todd Akin faux pas, they might be getting a seat that wasn't high on the radar; back-to-back polls have put Linda McMahon 3% up on Chris Murphy in CT after being 8% down in the previous poll. Of course, that 11% turnaround could well be a choreographed move off the canvas, given her WWF background.
What's Akin down by in MO? 9 and 10% in the two post-brain-fart polls. It might be a bit premature to write him off, as much as people want to put aside the skunky comments and slowly back away.
It's a bit early to be crafting a strategy that I posited here to find a write-in candidate to replace Akin. After unfavorably comparing him to the brain-fart queen of 2010, Christine O'Donnell, I mentioned the Colorado governor’s race of 2010, where voters their held their nose and almost voted Tom Tancredo governor on the Constitution party ticket after GOP candidate Dan Maes melted down like a snowpile in Denver in July; I'm not a fan of Tancredo's hawkish immigration take that heads off into ethnocentrism, so I might be extrapolating that nose-holding a bit much.
That might not be needed here. We're not talking about resume fudges here as in Maes' case, we've got a veteran congressman who's first 15 minutes of national fame is a biologically and rhetorically challenged statement about abortion for rape victims. The other analogy that is going though my mind is 2006... George Allen and macaca. Allen lost that race by a third of a percent, but faced a tough election climate in a year where Republicans weren't well liked and had a GOP-appointed former SecNav running against him in Jim Webb.
Compared to Allen, Akin has some advantages. 2012 is a lot easier on Republicans than 2006 was and he has a foe with a track record to run against. Yes, Akin has his own record that can be minded, but one could picture Akin throwing up some of McCaskill's voting record on life issues and saying "I goofed up about rape victims. She's knowingly and unapologeticly voted to [insert factoids here]. I'm apologizing...she's not."
Granted, Akin has some disadvantages vis-a-vis Allen. Allen was a siting senator and a former governor and the son of the Washington Redskins' football coach (George Sr.) in the 70s, while Akin has little statewide name recognition to offset his awkward introduction. However, besides our faux pas of the hour, he's a bit of a blank slate statewide that can be filled in either by Akin or by the left.
Played right, that apology-and-counterpunch approach could work. 10% down means you need to win 5% of the electorate off of your foe and into your camp. If Mrs. WWF can do it, why can't Akin, especially if he can be up-front about his past goof.