Lugar, Mourdock prepare for lone debate in Senate race

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Until now, Indiana's Senate Republican primary race between longtime U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar and Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock has been dominated by television ads, millions of campaign phone calls and foment among Indiana's strong base of conservative voters: All of them proxies for the showdown between the elder statesman and one of the party's hardest-working members.

The two men are scheduled to field questions from Hoosiers, side by side, at 7 p.m. Wednesday when the Indiana Debate Commission hosts Lugar and Mourdock's only debate before the May 8 Indiana Republican primary.

The hour-long debate will be broadcast from the studios of WFYI, a PBS affiliate in downtown Indianapolis. Citizens can provide possible questions by submitting them here.

The last week leading up to the debate has given voters a taste of the nasty, heavily funded campaign. Lugar took beatings on his support for gas taxes and oil price controls, and fired back by saying those attacks heavily distort the facts. Lugar supporters call Mourdock a pawn of Democrats because of their coordinated attacks against Lugar.

Those are the internally-polled, highly-vetted storylines dozens of political staffers are pushing as the best way to knock out their opponent.

But the debate commission is taking questions from Hoosiers via email and Facebook. And a quick perusal of the commission's Facebook page shows a pretty refreshing break from the monotony of campaign talking points: One person asks in one post whether each candidate would continue to support billions in federal subsidies for Indiana farmers. Another asks how the two would deal with the national healthcare problem if they oppose "Obamacare."

Of course those questions are among some of the same ones the candidates have faced from voters around the state.

Yet if there's been an argument about alternatives for fixing national healthcare, ways to balance domestic energy production with limited resources and limited federal dollars and just about anything else a member of the U.S. Senate would debate during the next six-year term, it hasn't made its way into the various 30-second spots that have flooded Indiana television stations.

National pollsters Fred Yang and Christine Matthews said that while the debate will likely expose many voters for the first time to Mourdock, there is little it will do to change an already tight race.

The results of their polling of likely Republican voters, published by DePauw University and Howey Politics Indiana last week, showed a close race between the two men vying to face Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly in November.

Yang pointed to former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich as the rare candidate who has benefitted broadly with voters based on debate performances. Of course, Gingrich appeared in close to two dozen nationally televised debates, while Mourdock and Lugar get one crack in Indiana before the May 8 primary.

"I think it will be important because Mourdock isn't known," said Matthews, a veteran Republican pollster. "And if people are curious about who he is, and motivated and it is somewhat easily accessible for them to watch this, I think that will be a good opportunity for them and could very well move some numbers in this particular race."

Yang said that, short of a gaffe like President Gerald Ford's assertion in a 1976 debate that the Soviet Union held no influence over Eastern Europe, debates tend to do little to change candidate's chances.

"I think short of that, unless, there's a big gaffe, it's hard for a debate to fundamentally effect a poll," said Yang, a longtime pollster for Indiana Democrats.

Both agreed, however, that Mourdock has more to show in this debate than Lugar.


  • Did you read the second and third paragraphs?
    2nd Paragraph states that the debate is at 7:00 pm this Wednesday

    Third paragraph states that it will be broadcast by WFYI in Indy and includes a link to the site to submit your questions for the debate.
  • Did you read the article?
    "The two men are scheduled to field questions from Hoosiers, side by side, at 7 p.m. Wednesday when the Indiana Debate Commission hosts Lugar and Mourdock's only debate before the May 8 Indiana Republican primary.

    The hour-long debate will be broadcast from the studios of WFYI, a PBS affiliate in downtown Indianapolis. Citizens can provide possible questions by submitting them here."
  • Where's the beef
    Interesting article, BUT, when is the debate ? What isd th email address to submit questions ? Is the deabte on radio or TV ? If so, which ones ?

    I have not read a story for awhile that really told you nothing like this one.

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Good Day I am Mr (Victoria Wright) from United state of America, i stayed in NEW YORK, and i have a broke up business, until i found this company email who help me to gain a loan for business,, and now i want to used this short medium to congratulate the below company for the fast and safe money they loan to me without any form of collateral, i loan 500,000USD from the company to save my business and lots more, i saw their mail on the internet, everyone always give testimony for what they did, so i quickly contacted them and they all did everything for me without stress and my money was sent to my account just 3 days later, i was surprise and i feel so glad, now i have a standard business control agent who help me, now i will advice those who need urgent loan to contact him at the bellow email:zenithfirm12@gmail.com

  2. NOTICE:This is to inform the general public that Vampires are real. My name is James Franklyn.,am an agent of vampire,am here to introduce our new world trend to you,a world of vampire where life get easier,we have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich,you will be assured long life and prosperity,you shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness,stronger and also very fast,you will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk.In case you are wildly oppressed by some unscrupulous persons we can still help you fight them.Your protection is assured immediately you join.Just contact the bellow email if you are interested we are here to attend to you anytime you want us. Contact the bellow email for more details. Email:vampirescreed@hotmail.com Sincerely: James Franklyn.

  3. Bravo! Someone else that is willing to speak the truth! Bravo!_____NBCSN is available in almost 2 MILLION more homes than just a few years ago, but Indycar STILL gets less total viewers than it did just a few years ago when NBC took over Versus. Attendance and ratings cratered with the end of season races (just when the title battle got "interesting" HAH!__________And now...new race in Basilia, where Miles celebrated the "rich history" of Indycar racing there. Rich history? What, 7 events in the 100 years of AOW? Yep, some history. Well, at least its an oval. It's not??? Are you kidding me??? Gosh darn road racin furriners.

  4. PURITY RAY LOAN OFFER........ Have you been denied by your banks,or are you in need of of an urgent loan to pay of your bills we are capable of giving loans @ cheaper rate to interested individuals, student, companies and members of the public in need of finance to settle bills, we do offer considerable loans which you can count on. For more information on our various types of loan,then you will have to contact PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM, to help you achieve your desire LOAN APPLICATION FORM TO BE FILLED BORROWERS INFORMATION * Full name:………………………. * SEX * ……………………………. * Country………………………….. * State:……………………………. * Land:…………………………….. * Occupation:…………………….. * phone number:…………………. * Telephone: ………………………….. * Age:………………………………. * Amount needed as loan:……… * Loan Duration:………………….. * Propose of Loan:……………….. * Annual revenue:………………… * Monthly Income:……………….. * Guarantee:………………………. * Payment: monthly or annually Email.....purityrayloanfirm@gmail.com Thank you and God bless Mr Purity Ray PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM we tend to serve you better

  5. Problem: most of the people responding to this article don't know about this service AT ALL! Why? Lack of awareness. This isn't IndyGo. This is CIRTA: might as well be the mattress company because they are asleep at the wheel - something like 3 directors over the last year? Playing with federal grant money is great! This "region" wants commuter rail service, has spent MILLIONS on Transportation studies yet can't even support a commuter bus line? This is largely for suburban riders to get to downtown - not for "service people to work in our hotels and restaurants" ! Get your head out of your backside!! These are professionals, students etc. that don't want to fight traffic, save some money on parking, gas, stress.... if CIRTA would put their federal money into widely promoting the sevive to Greenwood, Fishers & Carmel instead of finding directors and studies - this would be a successful service. Our family uses(d) it daily for the last several years - but the recent uncertainty & now unreliability due to cuts from Carmel has been a problem. Now, costs us an additional $350/month for gas & parking ( $4200/year) plus vehicle wear, service, environmental impact ... YES - this REGION needs this this type of service in order to keep growing and getting the people it needs to fill skilled positions in downtown Indianapolis. Think outside of your own car !!!