Yesterday, Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin went on a local public affairs show in St. Louis with, at most, 12 convalescent viewers and gave birth to the mother of all campaign gaffes in 2012. Responding to a question about rape exceptions to abortion, something asked of every GOP candidate since Roe v Wade, Akin said something about how in “legitimate rapes” pregnancies are very rare. There are at least three serious things wrong with Akin’s answer, but let’s put those aside for now. His candidacy is over. So, what happens now?

At some point before 5pm CDT tomorrow, Akin will file papers to formally withdraw his name from the ballot. I realize today Akin was defiant and said he wasn’t a “quitter.” His supporters claim he will stay in the race because he views his candidacy as “providential”, but this is just the bluster before the end. Everyone is entitled to 24 hours to try to right their ship, but Akin did nothing today to cauterize the wound. When Reince Priebus, Ann Coulter, NRSC and Tea Party Express are all united in saying you should quit, you’ve pretty much run out of options.

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