Yesterday I cautioned against piling on a candidate within minutes before giving the candidate a chance to react himself.

With the benefit of 24 hours, it’s clear that Akin has become a national liability, in part because his apology was round-about, in part because Republicans are not forgiven as easily as Democrats (remember how the press and Democrats reacted to allegations of rape made against Bill Clinton), and in part because Republicans who control the money and political leadership have been left with no choice but to do everything withing their power to distance themselves.

As many readers pointed out, at this point the merits hardly merit discussion.

Akin says he is staying in the race.  I am not of the school that he would be bound to lose under other circumstances.  With time Missouri voters would have to weigh his statements against Claire McCaskill’s support for the Obama agenda and Obamacare.  But that’s with time, of which there is precious little before election day and the conventions.

These developments today should give Akin pause as to whether he wants to drag others down with him (h/t Charles):

  • Republicans pull money from Missouri – “National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (R-Tex.) has informed Rep. Todd Akin that the national GOP will not spend money to help elect him to the Senate in the aftermath of Akin’s controversial comments about “legitimate rape,” according to an NRSC aide.”
  • Crossroads pulls out of Missouri after Akin comments – “The conservative outside-spending powerhouse Crossroads GPS is pulling its ads from the Missouri Senate race, three sources confirmed to POLITICO.”
  • Calls to step aside: “Many big-name Republicans have repudiated the comment, and Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Senate candidate and former congresswoman Heather Wilson (R-N.M.) have called for Akin to drop out of the race.”

Duchess of Kitty has more links in the comments.

There are two ways Akin could drop out.  By tomorrow, or as late as September 25 by court petition.

At this point, let’s hope it’s tomorrow.