Ann Wagner buzz increases as Todd Akin doubt lingers [UPDATED]

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Yesterday, NRO’s Katrina Trinko reported that a “Missouri GOP consultant e-mails that Ann Wagner, currently the Republican candidate in Todd Akin’s congressional district, may trade places with Akin.”

Obviously, that didn’t happen prior to the 5pm deadline — which would have allowed Akin to drop out unilaterally, without penalty or a court order. But he seems to be leaving the door open (a crack, at least), to a possible exit.

But now, I’m starting to hear grumblings that some of Akin’s remaining Missouri supporters are debating whether or not to abandon him — and throw their rhetorical weight behind Wagner. Support from some national conservatives is also bubbling up. For example,’s Ben Shapiro tweeted this:

And Republican strategist Liz Mair tweets:

Ann Wagner for Senate would be literally THE perfect solution to this problem. I hope she’s watching and taking note…

— Liz Mair (@LizMair) August 22, 2012

Who knows where this will lead, but last night, the twitter handle @AnnWagnerSenate popped up. I’ll be keeping an eye on that…

UPDATE: A source close to the Wagner campaign emails me this: “Ann Wagner will NOT swap with Todd Akin nor is she interested in any kind of ‘deals’ like that.”

Matt K. Lewis