Give Now

Outside Spending Jumps In U.S. Senate Campaign

Van Netta is accused of using the money to buy a $550,000 yacht, and several properties in Seymour, Evansville, and Fort Wayne.

The flip-flop in polling in Indiana‘s U.S. Senate race mostly coincides with a huge amount of money spent by outside groups targeting Democratic candidate Joe Donnelly.

The web site says in the last week alone, more than $1.6 million in advertising has been purchased by groups unaffiliated with political campaigns. All but $181 of that was spent on ads or mailers either favoring Republican Richard Mourdock or that were critical of Donnelly.

Ball State University  political science professor Ray Scheele says Republicans know they cannot win control of the U.S. Senate unless they hold the seat that belongs to Dick Lugar, who was defeated in the primary by Mourdock.

Scheele notes that Democrats believe they can also win the seat, and though they are being outspent at the moment, Donnelly is not short of money.

“Because in the last few weeks, particularly the last few days, the candidates have to show themselves to the undecided voters and firm up their own support,” Scheele says.  “That‘s what they‘re running out of faster than they are running out of money.”

The money began flowing in earnest after a Howey Politics/DePauw University poll released September 27 showed Donnelly with a two-point lead over Mourdock, 40 percent to 38 percent, though that was within the poll‘s margin of error.

A poll released by Rasmussen on Monday, taken during the recent outside ad blitz, gave Mourdock a five-point lead, 47 percent to 42 percent.

The Rasmussen survey did not include Libertarian candidate Andrew Horning, who drew the support of 7 percent of respondents in the Howey poll.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From