The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Appearing today at a fundraiser in Kirkwood, Missouri for Senate candidate Todd Akin, former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich offered the support and encouragement that few others in his party have dared give.

Abandoned by the GOP after his infamous “legitimate rape” comments, and crucified by the liberal and conservative media alike, Akin vowed to remain in the Senate race for the “long haul” and emerge victorious.

After sharing his toxic views on women’s health, Akin’s conservative donors and supporters pulled out in droves, denouncing the candidate’s statements. This despite the fact that in 2011 Akin had co-authored a bill with Paul Ryan to narrow the definition of rape to “forcible rape,” in order to prevent the use of federal Medicaid funds on abortions.

During the fundraiser, Newt Gingrich expressed confidence in Akin’s chances. “This is a winnable race,” Gingrich said. “I don’t see how any national Republicans…  have a choice after tomorrow.”

Gingrich was referring to the September 25 deadline for Akin to withdraw from the race using a court order. Resisting the onslaught of Republicans who urged him to drop out of the race, Akin allowed an August 22 deadline to pass. After tomorrow’s deadline, under Missouri state law, Akin’s name will remain on the ballot no matter what. However, nothing suggests that Akin will pull out of the race before then.

The race in Missouri is one of the critical linchpins of the GOP’s bid to regain the Senate majority. In the lead before his monumental gaffe, Akin now trails his Democratic opponent, incumbent Claire McCaskill, by 6 points, a Rasmussen poll shows. During the Kirkwood fundraiser, Gingrich stressed that this election was “a key to winning control of the Senate.”

Rick Tyler, a former Gingrich aide now attached to Akin’s Senate bid, addressed the issue of getting the conservative money machine back in order. “We are tilling that hard soil now — that is, reaching out to people who could potentially give significant amounts of dollars,” Tyler said.

With the Senate Conservatives Fund — a group that has raised more than $11 million for other Republican candidates — now considering getting involved, Akin might just be on his way to restarting his campaign.

Photo credit: AP/Orlin Wagner, File

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, left, and former President Donald Trump.

Photo by Kevin McCarthy (Public domain)

In the professional stratum of politics, few verities are treated with more reverence than the outcome of next year's midterm, when the Republican Party is deemed certain to recapture majorities in the House and Senate. With weary wisdom, any pol or pundit will cite the long string of elections that buttress this prediction.

Political history also tells us that many factors can influence an electoral result, including a national crisis or a change in economic conditions — in other words, things can change and even midterm elections are not entirely foretold. There have been a few exceptions to this rule, too.

Keep reading... Show less