Gaffes Squash GOP Bid to Rule Senate—Again

Akin, Mourdock stumbles reminiscent of 2010 struggle

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 30, 2012 9:35 AM CDT

(Newser) – In 2010, the GOP looked poised for a potential Senate takeover—but losses by Tea Party favorites to Democrats in Nevada, Delaware, and Colorado helped Democrats maintain control. Now, a similar scenario is playing itself out, notes the AP. Once again, Republicans should have had the Senate locked up this year. Then Rep. Todd Akin offered his "legitimate rape" comments, costing him party support and dropping him behind Sen. Claire McCaskill in the polls.

Still, Republicans might have held out—but Richard Mourdock made things even tougher by saying that even in cases of rape, pregnancies are "something God intended." Now his lead in the polls has disappeared, and Democrats say they're ahead. Mourdock had beaten longtime Sen. Dick Lugar in the primaries; had Lugar been the nominee, he'd likely have won the general election. "Republicans are nominating people who are so far out of the mainstream that even in deeply red states, they lose," says NY Democrat Chuck Schumer. But the GOP still has a shot at Democrat seats in seven states, the AP notes.

Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., picks up a portable medical oxygen pack as he tours Essex Industries, a supplier to the aerospace and defense industries, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in St. Louis County, Mo.
Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., picks up a portable medical oxygen pack as he tours Essex Industries, a supplier to the aerospace and defense industries, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in St. Louis County, Mo.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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