Democrats’ strategy to survive a difficult 2014 midterm cycle was straightforward: They would keep the Senate by nationalizing the failures of individual Republican candidates as they had done in 2010 and 2012. Democrats were searching for a candidate similar to Todd Akin, Christine O’Donnell or Sharron Angle to win a primary, particularly in Georgia, North Carolina or Mississippi. Republicans, though, did not oblige them, even amid a buffet of ideological bait on impeachment, immigration and birth-control subsidies. In fact, it has been Democrats who have been delivering the weapons-grade blunders in the home stretch of the midterm cycle. We have been searching for this year’s Akin in the wrong party, but now looking on the correct side of the aisle, there are many, many candidates.
… The frontrunner for the Akin Prize for Undistinguished Campaigning would seem to be Wendy Davis, Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Texas. Her decision to run an attack ad about the accident that left her opponent confined to a wheelchair is probably the worst in a decade. And like Akin’s musings on the female anatomy, is easily transportable to other races. In 2012, Democrats exploited Akin’s claim to clip other Republicans who supported the same abortion restrictions as he did. Now it is all those, like Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., who once celebrated Davis in her heyday, who are being asked whether wheelchair attack ads are appropriate. And like Akin, who initially refused to recant his claims on “legitimate rape,” Davis is so far refusing to budge on her spot. By the time Davis is eventually forced to back down, who knows how much damage will have been done? But that’s not to say that Davis is the only nominee for the prize.