In the ideal Todd Akin world, the women would stay in their place, at the back of the bus, barefoot and…well, just barefoot until he can think of something.
Akin’s primitive ideas about “legitimate” rape have put Missouri Republicans on the defensive and have focused the spotlight on the GOP’s views of women, an area that was already a problem even before Akin blundered his way through his interview with Fox 2’s Charles Jaco.
Akin’s idea that there should be no abortion exceptions for rape and incest is shared by one of the people, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, at the top of the ticket. Akin’s race is the second major race on the ballot.
On the third, there appears to be little chance that St. Louis businessman David Spence will unseat popular Democratic incumbent governor Jay Nixon.
And that brings us to the fourth position and another major headache for Republicans where women are concerned- incumbent lieutenant governor Peter Kinder.
Kinder eked out a victory over challenger Brad Lager in the primary, but not before being hit with a barrage of advertising focusing on his frequenting of a strip club, (and one called the Horny Toad) and his alleged “aggressive behavior” with one of the dancers.
In other words, Kinder is also going to prove to be an anchor dragging down the Republican party’s chance to score with women (my apologies for that play on words) in November.
The Democrats are in perfect position to take advantage of the Republicans’ unforced errors. Akin is trying to unseat a female senator with a long record as a tough campaigner. After his remarks, Claire McCaskill has to be Akin’s biggest nightmare.
Kinder, too, has a female opponent, former State Auditor Susan Montee. Some of the biggest money men in Missouri, Joplin’s David Humphreys and retired billionaire Rex Sinquefield of St. Louis, have not only distanced themselves from Kinder, but even poured more than $1.2 million into an unsuccessful attempt to dislodge him in the primary.
Humphreys has already made it clear he has no use for Todd Akin, telling the Joplin Globe, “Akin is a moron.”
My guess is Humphreys, the CEO of TAMKO Building Products, is not going to waste his money on a “moron.”
Combine the GOP’s problems with women, with the presence of Gov. Nixon, Attorney General Chris Koster, and State Treasurer Clint Zweifel, all incumbents with greater name recognition than their opponents, and no scandals (at this writing, anyway) lurking, it seems hard to understand why the political pundits are so quick to chalk up a victory for Mitt Romney in Missouri.
All of the polls to this point have shown Romney leading, but the fall campaign is barely underway and the women of Missouri have a notorious independent streak.
Don’t be so quick to hand the Show-Me State to Mitt Romney. Missourians do not like being taken for granted. Thanks to the Republicans doing the old-fashioned, chivalrous act of opening the door for women (at least as an issue in this campaign), this red state is looking more purple all the time.