If you awoke this morning hoping Rep. Todd Akin, the GOP candidate for Senate in Missouri who absurdly said "legitimate rape" does not cause pregnancy, would come to his senses and drop out of the Senate race today in time for a replacement candidate to be put on the ballot, you're in for a rude awakening.
This morning Akin sent an unlisted apology ad to reporters called "Forgiveness" in which Akin explains that he misspoke and he takes the act of rape very seriously.
"Rape is an evil act. I used the wrong words in the wrong way, and for that, I apologize," Akin says in the ad.
Yesterday, leading conservatives such as Sean Hannity and GOP leadership, including Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Reince Priebus, called on Akin to get out of the race, but Akin wouldn't budge. Even after National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) chair John Cornyn said the GOP would end all financial backing of the Missouri Senate race is Akin refused to drop out, Akin has opted to take his chances, releasing an apology video instead.
"The mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold. I ask for your forgiveness," Akin pleads in the video.
No word yet on when or where the ad will run in Missouri, but the mere existence of the video makes it clear that Akin has no plans to drop out of the race at this time.
This is very unfortunate news for the Republican Party, which hopes to take back the United States Senate this year. Missouri was a key pick-up opportunity for the GOP.
A Public Policy Polling survey released last night shows Akin still up one percentage point over incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill 44-43 percent. Akin previously polled at 45 percent to McCaskill's 44 percent. Although the numbers still look to be in in Akin's favor, that may not be the case after Akin's misstep is more widely publicized, particularly by McCaskill's campaign. Likewise, the Democratic Party will continue to use Akin's comment to embarrass other GOP candidates for office, including GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, if Akin doesn't get out of the race, creating an unnecessary distraction for the Republican Party.
Realistically, if Akin doesn't drop out of the race by 5pm today, Claire "Air" McCaskill will likely coast to reelection and the GOP will have a much tougher time winning enough seats to control the U.S. Senate.