Republicans are desperate for Todd Akin to drop out of the Missouri Senate race after his controversial comments about legitimate rape. Nearly every top Republican, including Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, have publicly called for him to quit.
This morning on ABC News, however, Mary Matalin — a well-connected GOP operative — suggested that Republicans would run a write-in candidate to defeat Akin. Matlin said that, if necessary, Republicans would “transfer the money” to Ann Wagner — a former chairwoman of the Missouri GOP who is currently running for Congress — to run as a 3rd party or write-in candidate. Watch it:
Todd Akin has said he’s absolutely committed to staying in the election until November.
Matalin: We are going to win Missouri and Wagner is going to be our candidate. The party is going to get Ann Wagner in.
Stephanapolous: So you are just convinced he’s going to get out
Matalin: Or we’ll run a third party, we’ll run a write-in. We can do it. We have the money to do it. We are going to transfer the money. It’s not as easy. But it’s a good state for Romney and we will get it back.
A Pollster Finally Gets Missouri Right?
The Mason-Dixon poll also had the Democratic incumbent, Claire McCaskill, pulling into a lead in the Senate race in Missouri, however. She now leads by nine points, a substantial swing from their July poll, when Representative Todd Akin led by five points, before his much-criticized remarks about rape.
I know it cuts somewhat against the FiveThirtyEight spirit to lump polls into binary categories of “right” and “wrong.” But the Mason-Dixon poll seems like a far more sensible take on the state of play in Missouri than the others we’ve seen since Mr. Akin’s remarks — showing a significant change in the Senate race there but a marginal impact at best on the presidential contest.