SuperPACs are devoting more money to an Indiana Senate race than almost any other such campaign in the nation this election cycle. Outside spending from SuperPACs played a key role in Richard Mourdock‘s primary upset of Republican Senator Richard Lugar.
With Mourdock and Democrat Joe Donnelly locked in a close race, the outside money is pouring in again. Only Texas saw more SuperPAC spending on its Senate primary than the $2.8 million poured into Indiana.
Half of that came from the anti-tax Club for Growth in a barrage of anti-Lugar ads on Mourdock‘s behalf. Two weeks ago, Club for Growth returned to Indiana with an $800,000 ad buy blasting Donnelly.
Club for Growth President and former Indiana congressman Chris Chocola says once the group decides to wade into a primary, it‘s committed to making sure its candidate wins the fall election as well.
“Our focus is primarily on primaries. We always try to find races where we can support a champion of economic freedom, make sure they become the nominee and then in most cases they‘re in safer districts and will clearly become the congressman or senator,” Chocola says.
In the primary, SuperPAC spending favored Mourdock four-to-one. The gap is closer this time. Majority 2012 — a Democratic SuperPAC — and the Blue Dog Democrat group Center Forward laid out a $1 million last month assailing Mourdock, while a conservative organization, Crossroads GPS, spent $600,000 on Mourdock‘s behalf in June.