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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Not a Good Weekend for the Congressional GOP

The weekend damaged GOP chances in one Senate race and perhaps a couple of House races.

Twenty-two years ago, Republican Clayton Williams threw away a chance to become governor of Texas by making a "joke" about rape.  In Missouri, the same topic may turn a potential GOP pickup into potential GOP throwaway.   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:
Missouri's contentious U.S. Senate race has been unexpectedly jolted by U.S. Rep. Todd Akin's comments that victims of "legitimate rape" will rarely become pregnant, causing some pundits to predict it could shift momentum and put U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill back in the lead.
Nate Silver, the New York Times election forecaster, said last week that the race tilted in Akin's favor because of his consistent polling lead. (Akin led Democrat incumbent McCaskill by 11 points in a recent Survey USA poll.)
On Sunday, Silver changed his mind.
"Have to wait for polls, but on instinct I'd call McCaskill a 2:1 favorite in #MOSEN now," Silver wrote, predicting the polls could swing against Akin by 10 points.
It's bad enough for a grown man to go skinny-dipping -- but in the place where Jesus walked?  Politico reports:
The FBI probed a late-night swim in the Sea of Galilee that involved drinking, numerous GOP freshmen lawmakers, top leadership staff — and one nude member of Congress, according to more than a dozen sources, including eyewitnesses.
During a fact-finding congressional trip to the Holy Land last summer, Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) took off his clothes and jumped into the sea, joining a number of members, their families and GOP staff during a night out in Israel, the sources told POLITICO. Other participants, including the daughter of another congressman, swam fully clothed, while some lawmakers partially disrobed. More than 20 people took part in the late-night dip in the sea, according to sources who were participants in the trip.
...
These GOP sources confirmed the following freshmen lawmakers also went swimming that night: Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) and his daughter; Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and his wife; Reps. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.), Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.). Many of the lawmakers who ventured into the lake said they did so because of the religious significance of the waters. Others said they were simply cooling off after a long day. Several privately admitted that alcohol may have played a role in why some of those present decided to jump in.