PLANK OCTOBER 23, 2012
Last week, we troubled you with a list of five ridiculous Congressional candidates who will likely win their House races. Now we want to make up to you with a list of five Senate and Congressional candidates—some ridiculous, some downright confounding—who could lose. We hope it provides a little comfort in the prickly form of schadenfreude.
Akin really couldn’t fall any further after he uttered the words “legitimate rape,” as if that were a real thing, in an August television interview. If he hadn’t done so, and massively torpedoed his poll numbers, the Senate candidate’s many other forehead-slapping remarks might have gotten a little more attention. There’s the one where he likens his opponent, Claire McCaskill, to a dog (“She goes to Washington, D.C., it’s a little bit like one of those dogs, you know ‘fetch.’”) The interview in which he observes that she was more “ladylike” in her 2006 campaign. And then there’s the more run-of-the-mill stuff: his opposition to equal pay legislation on the grounds of government intrusion, say, and his belief that science doesn’t support evolution.
The race remains close, but in McCaskill’s control: Akin has been polling consistently behind her for weeks.
About all that Joe Walsh, a freshman from Chicago’s north suburbs, has to show for his first term in Congress is a bill to repeal a tax on Christmas trees and some video of himself screaming at constituents. This election cycle, he insisted that “with modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance” of abortion saving a woman’s life. He implied that his challenger, disabled war vet Tammy Duckworth, was not a “true hero,” as true heroes don’t talk about their military service. He has also urged CEOs to pressure employees into voting for Romney.
Duckworth and Walsh have traded leads in the polls. Walsh could hang on by the skin of his teeth, but Duckworth maintains a strong fundamental advantage in the newly redrawn district in which they’re racing.
The congressman for Tennessee’s 4th district was expected to be a lock this cycle, yet thanks to an unexpected turn of events, he finds himself in danger of losing his seat. Those events? The revelation that pro-life, “pro-family” DesJarlais, who was a doctor before he ran for Congress, cheated on his wife with one of his patients and pressured her to get an abortion when she became pregnant. Now, DesJarlais’s once-solid lead looks ready to collapse.
Smug liberal bonus: The Huffington Post learned all this when it obtained a transcript of the phone call in which DesJarlais badgered his patient—a call which DesJarlais himself appears to have recorded.
Freshman Tipton, who was elected with 50.1 percent of the vote in 2010, is facing a tossup against Sal Pace in Colorado’s largest congressional district. Tipton makes this list for griping about the nuns who bused themselves across America to denounce the immoral budget being proposed by the GOP, calling their efforts divisive and implying that their knowledge of the budget was thin, at best.
On the other hand: Say nuns aren’t your demographic. To his credit, Tipton has endorsed ENDA, the bill that bans job discrimination over sexual orientation.
Joe Coors is not a beer, the Coors scion reminds Colorado voters over and over in his campaign commercials. He is, however, a former Coors executive running on his “common sense” business acumen—a surprising claim, given that he was conned out of millions of dollars, in 2002, by scam artists who promised him a ludicrous 75 percent return on his investment. Coors also preaches that homosexuality is an abomination, although he has recanted the notion that AIDS was God’s method of visiting punishment on the gay community since his younger days. Incumbent Ed Perlmutter’s lead over GOP challenger Coors is presumed wide enough that no one even bothers to poll. Coors, the business genius who has written his campaign $1.3 million in checks, does not seem to have grasped this.
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