On eve of GOP convention, Todd Akin, Paul Ryan still running for Congress
The long-awaited Republican National Convention has opened in Tampa in attenuated fashion, and not much is new. Missouri senate nominee Todd Akin is still in the race, dousing recently aroused hope that he would take himself out with some increasingly defiant pronouncements over the weekend.
Top GOP operative Mary Matalin has not yet retracted or back-pedaled on her equally firm announcement yesterday that Republicans will fund a write-in candidate against Akin–and, of course, against Sen. Claire McCaskill. As previously written, this kind of thing can change like the vectors of a tropical storm Isaac. For now, however, Rep. Akin’s senate race remains consigned to the GOP establishment dustbin, and according to Matalin, Ann Wagner is “going to be our candidate.”
Also in recently unchanged news, Rick Warren’s presidential forum remains cancelled.
Ditto in ditto, the question whether Rep. Paul Ryan will run for re-election to the House remains unanswered. Communication with Ryan’s Capitol Hill office elicits the information that his press secretary is unavailable. Call-backs, not yet.
Ryan, unlike Akin, faces at present no prospect of a fellow Republican entering his contest back home. Ryan was unopposed in his own primary.
Looking at broader information, staying in his House race might seem a smart move for Ryan. Trying to assess exactly how much damage Rep. Akin’s individual comments–i.e. Akin’s open and explicit statements, clearly aligned with the Republican party platform–have done may be beside the point. Predictions are obviously impossible at this point, but every poll-of-polls that takes the Electoral College into account puts President Obama ahead of Mitt Romney for 2012. Neither party likes this fact pointed out; Democrats are loath to give up fear tactics to generate fund-raising, and Republicans are equally loath to give up gloating about ‘winning’ for the same purpose.