Recent polls are showing Senate candidates Richard Mourdock and Joe Donnelly in a statistical dead heat. Some experts say a single Mourdock comment in this week’s debate could swing some independent voters in favor of the Democrat.
Indiana University political science professor Gerald Wright says if polls are accurate, Mourdock’s comment could swing the race in favor of Donnelly.
“For the Hoosiers who were not paying a lot of attention to the campaign might have thought, ‘Oh Mourdock’s a Republican, I’m a Republican, I’ll vote for him,’ all of a sudden, without knowing about the candidates, you get this big blast of unfavorable publicity, and that is probably enough to turn a lot of them off,” he says.
Wright says the comment may affect the presidential election as well. President Obama’s campaign is already running ads about Governor Romney’s previous support of Mourdock.
Romney has condemned Mourdock’s comments. A statement from Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said Romney “disagrees with Richard Mourdock’s comments and they do not reflect his views, but the ads continue to run showing the former Massachusetts governor endorsing the Republican candidate.
On a larger scale, NPR reports the comments complicate but do not end the GOP’s chances at taking over the Senate.