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I think it’s smart to have a plan in case Todd Akin drops. The GOP central committee is working on a plan. If you wait until after a vacancy occurs, your preferences will be meaningless.
That said, if you should decide to plot a contingency to influence the selection of a candidate to fill a vacancy that might occur, consider this: the MOGOP central committee is not tea-party-ish. They will a choose a candidate the Republican way: “Whose turn is it?”
We can dig our heels in and demand the perfect tea-party-ish libertarian-conservative with a perfect a National Right to Life Committee score–and be ignored. Or we can promote someone who a) can win and b) won’t drive large factions to launch a write-in campaign or sit out this crucial election cycle.
My suggestion of a contingency, made after personal reflection, some standard game theory strategy, conversations with trusted friends, and gin, was posted about 2 a.m. Tuesday: Wagner to Senate, Jim Lembke to MO-02. But that’s just my opinion, and it assumed that Akin would leave the campaign before 5 p.m Tuesday.
Akin didn’t drop by the deadline. His dropping now or later might make my contingency moot. And judicial approval for Akin to drop might not be automatic. (It goes against the system in place, which is the primary system. Akin has done nothing to make his resignation a compelling state interest, only a Republican party interest.) Would Ann Wanger (or Tom Schweich, or JoAnn Emerson or any other substitute) have time to organize a campaign starting next week? And how would the scramble to replace Akin affect RNC convention coverage. (My guess is that coverage would be about abortion, rape, and the crazy Republicans who believe in neither.) There are now 76 days to the election–and a typical senate race takes two years, not two months.
The best case scenario as of now might be that Akin stay in the race and that he make himself the best possible candidate. About which more in my next missive.
But I’ll say it again: if we want to have an influence on the candidate, we might want to voice our opinions now, and in a forum where Lloyd Smith and the other central committee members, consultants, and office holders can hear.