National Republicans have all but abandoned Missouri Senate hopeful Todd Akin, pulling resources out of the race after his controversial comments on “legitimate rape.”
But not for long, predicted former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, in Missouri Monday to endorse Rep. Akin and fundraise for him in his race against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.
“I believe by mid-October all of them will be in,” Gingrich said Monday of Republican outside groups, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He was speaking at a press conference with Akin at the Kirkwood Amtrak station.
He said those groups simply needed “adjust to (the) reality” that Akin was not going to withdraw from the race, as many had pressured him to do in the aftermath of those comments.
The deadline for Akin to do so would be Tuesday. He would have to get a court order to have his name removed from the ballot. However, ballots with his name on it were shipped to members of the military and other overseas voters on Friday.
Once that deadline passed, Gingrich predicted an “avalanche of money” pouring in.
“This is a winnable race. I don’t see how any national Republicans … have a choice after tomorrow,” Gingrich said.
At the start of the cycle, Republicans considered Missouri one of their best chances for picking up a Senate seat. But after Akin’s comments groups like the National Republican Senatorial Committee and American Crossroads cancelled ad buys and shifted attention to other races.
Akin spokesman and senior aide Rick Tyler was formerly the spokesman for Gingrich’s presidential campaign. He left the campaign in July 2011 along with a large portion of the campaign staff, but became an adviser to the pro-Gingrich super PAC Winning Our Future later in the cycle.
The most recent poll of the race from Rasmussen Reports found McCaskill leading Akin by six points earlier this month.