Terry Campbell is no stranger to watching a Senate candidate under fire. He was Nevada Republican candidate Sharron Angle‘s campaign manager in during her ill-fated bid to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2010. He also happens to be a Tea Party activist who resides in Missouri. So the Examiner decided to call him up and get his take on the Todd Akin controversy.
Campbell, who is not involved in the Akin campaign, was unequivocal: Akin should tough it out and stay in the race. He can still win this, the Missouri native said.
“I think it (the controversy) is starting to settle down. I think there will be a resurgence of increased support for Todd Akin in this race,” he said. “I think he has got a case that he can make for running in this race. No one else has got anybody else… He’s it.”
Campbell adds: “I think this will tighten his support. It is still the first out of the first inning of a nine-inning game. It is a long ways to election day.”
The parallels between Angle’s bid and Todd Akin’s efforts to unseat Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill are pretty striking. Both Republicans emerged from heavily contested GOP primaries to fight incumbent Senate Democrats that most pundits rated as easily beatable. Both candidates quickly came under fire for a series on controversial comments and eccentric decisions. Angle eventually lost her bid, 50-45%.
Regarding Akin’s controversial comments about abortion, Campbell conceded that he “could have picked maybe another choice of a word.”
Asked if Akin can still survive despite the controversy and the resulting loss of campaign funding by the national party and conservative groups, Campbell said Akin “could still turn it around, yes.” He pointed to a PPP poll out Monday that showed Akin still one point ahead of McCaskill. “I think he can get caught up by Labor Day.”
More recent polls show McCaskill opening up a lead on Akin.