Chris Graham: Please, Todd Akin, don’t quit

That’s what Democrats are saying to themselves as the Tuesday deadline approaches for Missouri Congressman Todd Akin to withdraw from a Senate race with Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill.

Many Republicans are leading the charge to get Akin to pull out of the race in the aftermath of a disastrous TV interview in which the social conservative claimed that pregnancy from rape is “really rare” and that if “it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

“I’m not a quitter,” Akin said Monday amid the calls from, among others, Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown and Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson that he step aside.

McCaskill had seemed, to say the least, to be on the verge of being unseated. The most recent polling in the district had her down to Akin by double digits, though one has to assume that there will be a sea change in those numbers with the next set of polling that comes out of Mizzou.

That’s one reason why Democrats were fanning the flames of controversy, though they didn’t want to do their job too well, in a manner of speaking. Akin is much more valuable to Democrats both in Missouri and nationally if he’s still in the race.

And yes, there’s an impact, at least a potential impact, on the presidential race, as part of the larger narrative that Democrats want to frame for liberal and centrist voters on social issues with allusions to the still-smoldering Rush Limbaugh “slut” comment and the transvaginal winter of discontent in Virginia.

Republicans say that they want the 2012 election to be about the economy, and then continue to insist on opening mouth to insert foot on the social-issues front.

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