Last question first, from Roll Call:
If Rep. Todd Akin (R) does drop his Missouri Senate bid within the next 24 hours, as the GOP establishment is pressuring him to do, at least his timing will be impeccable.
Missouri state law allows a nominated candidate to withdraw his or her bid for office by 5 p.m. on the 11th Tuesday before the election which, as it turns out, is tomorrow. If Akin does drop his bid before tomorrow’s deadline, the state’s GOP central committee would pick his replacement.
This statutory fact alone is why Republicans — from National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) to presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) — are coalescing around a 24-hour ultimatum.
Jim Talent won’t replace Akin
From the Washington Post:
Former Missouri Senator Jim Talent said he will not run against Sen. Claire McCaskill, even if Rep. Todd Akin exits the key Senate race.
“No, I’m not running for the Senate,” Talent told reporters attending the Republican platform committee in Tampa, where he serves as a delegate from Missouri.
Talent held McCaskill’s seat before she defeated him in 2006. He said he had been holed up in meetings discusisng the Republican platform and had received 15 phone messages about the Akin situation. But he said he not spoken to Akin. He called comments from Sen. John Cornyn calling for Akin to consider leaving the race “very appropriate.”
“He’s got a decision to make and he’s got to make it quickly,” Talent said. “He’s got to know the situation and he needs to sit down and make a personal decision.”