MOURDOCK WINS LAST NIGHT AS WELL
Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock is not the most smiley guy we've had run for political office. He's a financial guy, the kind of man you hire to make sure your accounts are accurate. The sort we could use in Washington right now. There are sufficient joke-tellers and back-slappers already there.
But today, the day after the Obama Fiasco known as the first Romney-Obama debate, I bet Richard Mourdock couldn't wipe the grin off his face. Romney wasn't the only winner last night: so was Mourdock.
Because of straight ticket voting as well as excitement (or embarrassment) about the top of the ticket trickles down, Romney's debate win was important to every Republican on the ballot in every state. Indiana has not been in doubt about going for Romney. The President won Indiana last time but even he realizes that we are embarrassed about it. So compared to 2008 when it seemed his family nearly lived here, he is no where to be seen unless you visit Ohio or another closely contested state.
Mike Pence seems to be rolling to a big victory for Governor and the Democrats in the state legislature walked out from their jobs, so people don't seem anxious to give more power to those who refused to even stay to fight. In fact some Democrats like Fort Wayne's Win Moses - who has moved back here because he's so concerned that Martin Carbaugh might beat him - could go down to defeat. This is not going to be a good Democrat year in Indiana.
Senate candidate Joe Donnelly was the big Democrat hope this year. The media love him - liberals, those who loved Lugar and those who hate the Tea Parties which means almost 100% of the print media and commentators. On the other hand, they don't like Mourdock.
I am good friends with Joe, which is different than saying I would vote for him. I knew he'd be a tough candidate. His campaign fit his personality: it was humorous yet with a bit of bite, creative, and effective. He also has this going for him: one - only one - incumbent US Senator lost in a primary this year: Richard Lugar. That Senator is the longest serving Senator in Indiana's history, has incredible respect and inspired intense loyalty. Needless to say, his supporters are not happy campers. In other words, Donnelly had an opportunity.
Yet polls, even after effective ads and a divisive Republican primary, could only put him at 40% with a 2% lead. (Inside the margin of error.) Time was quickly escaping to get to 50%. The Libertarian was up to 7%, which is a place for disaffected Republicans to park while waiting for the final crunch. Others said they were undecided. Donnelly was getting fewer Republicans than I usually gained among Democrats during my years in Congress.
Two things happened this week. National Democrats came in to "rescue" him. Big mistake. Nasty ads, mean voice, dark black & white pictures - the usual Washington consultant crap. They will undo all of Joe's positive work in one week. He has to be sick to his stomach right now.
Secondly, if Romney won 53% in Indiana, Mourdock could have fallen to a 2 to 4% win which is awfully close. But if Romney hits 55% (10 point margin, minority parties will get some) I think Mourdock will win by at least 4% and possibly a lot more.
On top of that, Mourdock's new ads are effective in hammering home the two biggest reasons to back him: 1) Indiana's Senate race could determine which party controls the Senate 2) Donnelly is most moderate than some Democrats but still backed Pelosi, ObamaCare, the stimulus package and most major liberal legislation.
Last night and this week weren't just great news for Mitt Romney, but for Richard Mourdock as well.