“It is becoming easy to see how the Akin effect has faded; just look at warren now down 6 vs Brown in Mass. with a sample of 55% Democrats.”
The fading “Akin effect” is the result of other Republican candidates being able to politically disassociate themselves from the fallout, as a result of the party’s refusal to openly finance his campaign.
Liz Warren (from last night’s debate): “This really may be the race for control of the United States Senate, not just about Senator Brown’s vote — it’s about all the Republicans.”
If the GOP openly funds Akin, candidates such as Liawatha will produce more ads linking him to their Republican opponents, thus undermining female and independent support for Republicans in other close races.
On that point, unfortunately, I tend to agree. For people like Scott Brown to win states like Massachusetts, the national Republican party probably **DID** have to distance themselves from Akin. Okay, they've done it, they can now go quiet, and backing Akin is now our problem as social conservatives.
But as Gingrich's decision shows, it's not just our battle now.
There are a lot of Santorum backers who decided to back Gingrich once Santorum pulled out of the race. I, for one, am glad to see Gingrich coming to the support of a prominent Christian conservative.
Why is Gingrich doing this? I'm not sure. Akin has not been personally popular with the GOP establishment, and that's something he shares with Gingrich. Maybe there's a common bond in being attacked by the GOP-e, or maybe there is something else of a personal nature between the two men. I don't know.
In any case, let's not demonize people who disagree with Akin. Even here on Free Republic, people like Eric in the Ozarks, newzjunkey, and others remind us (correctly so) that Akin is not universally popular among conservatives who don't like the GOP-e. I can respect that. Honest conservatives can and will disagree on who is the best candidate.
As the OP, EvilSlayer, posted in his article from the Washington Post: “Akin, as weve written before, is not a party establishment guy or even really a tea party guy. Hes a social and religious conservative who is largely unencumbered by the things that bind many other big-time candidates to their party leaders. Thus, it has been hard for the party to find anything in the way of leverage.”
That is why Newt Gingrich's decision to back Akin is so important. I do not know what level of coattails Gingrich will have, and I don't know his motivations, but what **IS** certain is that he will bring a group of people to Akin’s support who are mad at the GOP establishment for different reasons than the Christian conservatives who, so far, have been Akin’s primary backers.
How much support Gingrich will bring isn't yet clear. We'll find out soon.