Rep. Todd Akin was in Tampa Wednesday night meeting with top conservative groups and donors, several sources confirmed to POLITICO.

The embattled Missouri Senate candidate flew to Tampa to meet with members of the Council for National Policy, a secretive coalition of powerful conservative and evangelical leaders, activists, and donors…

While national Republicans from presidential candidate Mitt Romney to National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn have called for Akin to end his Senate bid, Akin has remained defiant and pledged to stay in the race. He has, however, received support from several prominent conservatives including Tim Wildmon and Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

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President Barack Obama is mocking Senate candidate Todd Akin of Missouri for his remarks about a woman’s body being able to avoid pregnancy during what Akin called a “legitimate rape.”

Obama tells a group of donors in New York that the Republican congressman from Missouri “somehow missed science class” even though he sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

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Mitt Romney faces increased pressure to shine at next week’s Republican National Convention because of Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-Mo.) controversial comments on “legitimate rape” and abortion…

Given the importance of female voters to both Democrats and Republicans this November — as well as Romney’s perceived vulnerability with that constituency — Republicans say Akin has raised the bar for Romney in Tampa.

The convention was always going to be an important moment for Romney, but he must now “knock it out of the park,” according to GOP strategist Ford O’Connell.

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With an eye on Rep. Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments and the GOP’s mad dash away from the sinking Missouri Senate candidate, the Democrats are turning their upcoming presidential convention into a pro-choice assault on the Republicans with the help of major abortion supporters.

Just as the Akin crisis was reaching a crescendo, the Democrats on Wednesday announced that three starlets of the pro-choice movement will be featured at the convention, an event that will now drive the liberal charge that the Republicans are anti-women…

Democrats led by party chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz believe that the Akin controversy–and his refusal to leave the Missouri Senate race–has revived their chances of winning a majority of women in the presidential race, key to re-electing President Obama. On Wednesday, for example, the party turned their homepage over to the affair with the headline: “The GOP is dangerously wrong for women.” And with a devilish move, they included pictures of Mitt Romney, running mate Paul Ryan and Akin.

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Fluke has since become an increasingly visible surrogate for President Obama, most recently introducing him at an Aug. 8 rally in Denver. She responded Tuesday to Akin’s comments about “legitimate rape” and pregnancy via an email relayed by the Obama campaign.

“This controversy is not an accident, or a mistake, or an isolated incident,” Fluke wrote. “It’s a reflection of a Republican Party whose policies are dangerous for women.”

Less than a day after Fluke’s e-mail went out, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan refused to give his definition of “forcible rape,” a term used in a an early draft of legislation co-sponsored by Ryan and Akin.

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One Catholic strategist close to GOP anti-abortion discussions put it this way to me: “Any politician is an idiot if he cannot speak eloquently on the tragedy of abortion, with compassion for women and a sense of recognition also for the life of the child. . . . Akin does a disservice to the cause of educating Americans about the humanity of the unborn child. Honestly, though, he is the exception.”

Perhaps so, but the cumulative effect of Republican actions aimed at limiting women’s access to abortion rather than seeking remedy through education poses an existential threat to the GOP. You don’t change people’s hearts by insulting their minds.

As GOP convention planners consider platforms and pledges, they might also contemplate a seminar for Republican men about how the fairer sex works.

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Around the clock, Democratic candidates, spokesmen, commercials, and the party’s foot soldiers in the news media will labor sedulously to transform the party of Lincoln and Reagan into the party of Akin. By Election Day, Akin will be more famous, ubiquitous, and inescapable than Kim Kardashian. His twisted comments on rape will be played again and again, with spooky music, scary edits, and every instrument in the campaign consultant’s tool box applied to amplify this message…

On its opening evening in Tampa, the Republican National Convention should vote on prime-time television to denounce Akin, reject his wretched comments, disassociate the party from him, and pledge that no GOP resources will be deployed to support his campaign. Each delegation should express itself on this matter through a roll call of the states. The decision should be overwhelming, if not unanimous, against Akin.

Such concrete action might put some safe distance between Akin and the rest of the party and thereby isolate this contagion.

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It’s time for a nuclear bomb. Republicans should stage a write-in campaign for a popular Republican, such as Kit Bond, former governor and senator from Missouri.

If Akin had done the decent thing and dropped out, he could have been replaced with one of the stellar pro-life primary candidates. But for a write-in campaign to work, it has to be a well-known and loved Missourian — someone whose name people know how to spell.

It will be much better for Republicans to be seen as having a zero-tolerance policy on stupid rape comments than counting on people to notice that Republicans universally repudiated this narcissist.

We need Republicans out there saying, “Akin’s not our candidate; our candidate is Kit Bond.”

Republicans are going to lose with Akin anyway; mounting a write-in campaign at least gives them a shot. Don’t forget: It worked just two years ago for Lisa Murkowski in Alaska. By contrast, mortally wounded politicians never win. And we really need that Senate seat.

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For years, the Republican Party has had an unhealthy (sick) dependence on zealots like Akin. On abortion, immigration, climate, evolution, taxes and government spending, the Republicans have flirted with disaster. In other words, they’ve courted a disaffected but growing and extremely energetic group of voters who have been decisive in many recent elections. The majority of Republicans, who don’t believe things like climate change is bogus, abortion should be illegal even if a woman is raped by her uncle and that evolution is simply a theory, have made a deal with the minority that does. And like all Faustian bargains, this one will have a reckoning.

The Republican establishment, more interested in winning than purity, knows this so it wants to show this embarrassment the door. But Mr. Akin may stay seated, and others who have been used will also not be discarded easily. Todd Akin reminds voters of the new face of the Republican Party, and he may lead them to rehab.

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Via Mediaite.

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Via the Daily Rushbo.