“Just imagine if Republicans win the White House, or gain control of the U.S. Senate,” a narrator in the ad says after Akin’s now-famous remark.
As Republicans continue to attempt to salvage their chances of winning the Missouri race — a critical seat for control of the Senate — Democrats are hoping that Akin’s words will reverberate in other House and Senate races around the country.
Their efforts come as Akin remained defiant on Thursday, issuing a new promise to remain in the race. He spent Thursday meeting with social conservatives in Tampa amid signs that some leading public figures were rallying to his side.
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who backed Akin in his tough three-way primary for the Republican nomination, sent his supporters a lengthy letter criticizing GOP leaders for denying Akin assistance and urging help for him.
“From the spotlights of political offices and media perches, it may appear that the demand for Akin’s head is universal in the party. I assure you it is not,” Huckabee wrote. ”There is a vast, but mostly quiet army of people who have an innate sense of fairness and don’t like to see a fellow political pilgrim bullied.”
That fissure, which could command significant attention at next week’s Republican National Convention, has complicated efforts by top Republicans to stem the damage from Akin’s remark with swift condemnation and a mass effort led by presidential candidate Mitt Romney to force him out of the race.
During a television interview broadcast Sunday in St. Louis, Akin said that his opposition to abortion extended to cases involving rape, and offered this explanation: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” He added that even if the woman became pregnant, “the punishment ought to be of the rapist and not attacking the child.”
Akin has apologized for using the “wrong word,” but he has stood by his larger point that abortion should be illegal in all instances, including rape.
That has forced other GOP candidates to face tough questions about their own positions on abortion as local media outlets have highlighted Democratic efforts to pull Akin into their own races.
“A lot of districts we need to win this fall are suburban districts, and this kind of ideological extremism doesn’t play well there,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Jesse Ferguson.
Democrats believe the remark can provide Warren a particular boost. They are emphasizing to left-leaning Massachusetts voters who might find Brown appealing that a vote for him means backing a Republican majority in Washington.