Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin said women who got pregnant from a rape weren't really raped, and all kinds of Republicans have condemned him for it: Mitt Romney, Scott Brown, Karl Rove, Michelle Malkin, and Sarah Steelman, who came in third in the primary against Akin. (Update: Brown has called on Akin to quit the race.) But is there anything the party can do about it?
For now, probably not. Akin has until Tuesday to voluntarily quit the race and let Republicans pick a different nominee to run against Sen. Claire McCaskill, the most vulnerable Senate Democrat this year. That probably won't happen. NBC News' First Read reports that Akin will probably stick with it because:
Akin believes this race is 'providential' and even if Akin was ready to get out, his wife would never let him quit. The person with knowledge of Akin’s political operation adds: 'She makes him seem like the reasonable one.'
Akin's campaign is being run by his son, and his wife is his "most influential adviser," Politico's David Catanese reports. That's why some Republicans think the statement he put out saying he "misspoke" didn't really address his most offensive claim. Catanese reports that Missouri Republicans made calls to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Romney's campaign to figure out what to do. One suggested Akin just hide in a closet until the election. "Asked to assess the level of worry, one Republican elected official replied, 'Most have moved past worrying to conceding,'" Politico reports.
But they have a little more time to convince Akin to quit. Akin has until September 25 to ask for a court order to be removed from the ballot if he agrees to pay the cost of printing new ballots, First Read notes. It's possible Akin could still beat McCaskill, but that could be a loss in its own way. "Even if Akin hangs on to win, [it] means GOP will be stuck with a moron in Senate who will embarrass party for 6 years," the Washington Examiner's Philip Klein tweets.