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Tipsheet

Akin: Sorry Guys, I’m here to Stay

Get used to it: Missouri Senate hopeful Todd Akin is in it for the long haul:

A defiant Rep. Todd Akin made it official today, saying once again he will not drop out of the Missouri Senate race.

Today was the last day Akin could be removed from the November ballot -- something top Republicans had sought since he made comments in August about "legitimate rape."

As ministers and social conservatives such as Phyllis Schafly stood at his side, Akin said at a news conference that the people of Missouri spoke when they elected him the Republican Party's nominee to face Democrat Claire McCaskill.

"It's not really my decision," Akin said. "I have one purpose going into November and that's replacing Claire McCaskill."

McCaskill unveiled a campaign ad today, hitting Akin on the "legitimate rape" comment. The commercial begins with Akin's comments from March saying he didn't like Social Security, and it includes other remarks from the Republican on Medicare, minimum wage and student loans. "What will he say next?" the McCaskill commercial asks.

Akin has repeatedly apologized for saying in a TV interview that women can prevent pregnancies in cases of "legitimate rape." The National Republican Senatorial Committee has withdrawn funding for the Missouri race, one of a handful that could decide which party controls power. Akin launched a "Missouri Common Sense" bus tour today, which will conclude Friday.

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Congressman Akin should have dropped out of the race a long, long time ago. Virtually every Republican under the sun -- including the 2012 Republican presidential nominee -- instructed him to do so. He didn’t. And now -- to the dismay of many on the Right -- it’s too late (unless, of course, he decides to end his Senate bid at a later date, thereby serving his opponent the election on a silver platter). Thankfully, I suspect that won't happen.

But more to the point: Should conservatives support him in November? I mean, despite the fact the NRSC cut him off financially and his Republican allies have abandoned him en masse, he technically did apologize. And as Guy noted last week, the GOP has a real opportunity to retake the Senate in November. It would be, I think, a shame to give up on a seat occupied by a vulnerable (and deeply unpopular) liberal Democrat. Exit question: Should Republicans support Todd Akin's Senatorial campaign (especially now that his name can't be removed from the November ballot) or were his “legitimate rape” comments evidence enough he is unfit to serve in the upper chamber? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below…

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