Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, made the rounds on radio row this afternoon. During an impromptu press avail, the senator addressed questions about the Republicans’ chances for taking the Senate majority in November. Asked if the Republicans can win the majority without winning the Missouri seat, Cornyn answered:
I believe that we can, and there are some polls that sort of demonstrate that pathway through places like Connecticut, where now Linda McMahon is two points up in a blue state. In Michigan, where that race has become much more competitive. Josh Mandell is closing in on Sherrod Brown in Ohio.
Sen. Cornyn is referencing a new Quinnipiac poll, which shows Republican Linda McMahon now leading her Democratic opponent by three points in a state that is usually very tough on Republicans. McMahon’s lead is outside the poll’s 2.6 percent margin of error.
I always thought that there would be a late shift in the momentum once Gov. Romney establishes himself as a viable alternative to Barack Obama, which I think he is in the process of doing. … You’ll see a lot in common with what happened in 1980, and of course we have a number of Senate candidates who can run and win regardless of what happens at the top of the ticket. Like in Virginia, Florida, Ohio, New Mexico, just to mention a few, where the stronger that Gov. Romney runs the better our chances are for our candidates.
Asked about the NRSC’s call for Rep. Todd Akin to drop out of the Missouri Senate race, Cornyn said that it was a “purely business decision” based on how the campaign must allocate its resources. Cornyn said, “The disappointing thing about Missouri is that was the one with the most endangered Democrat incumbent. But for the unfortunate circumstances, she would be leaving the Senate in January.”
I still hope that Todd Akin, being a fundamentally honorable man, will understand that he can’t win and will step aside and allow somebody who can win and who believes in the same values that he shares, can win that seat. So, we’re not giving up.