New spending pushes Indiana Senate air war above $20M

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Spending in Indiana's tight U.S. Senate race topped $20 million this week, with new spending from the conservative Club for Growth, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's super PAC, and national Democrats and Republicans.

This week marks the most expensive yet in the closely watched race between Republican Richard Mourdock and Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly. The candidates have been locked in a dead heat since the May primary, when the tea party-backed Mourdock unexpectedly ousted longtime GOP Sen. Richard Lugar.

The Club for Growth is spending $600,000 in Indiana this week, club spokesman Barney Keller said Wednesday. Reid's group is buying up $800,000 of air time, according to an aide for Mourdock's campaign and a Democratic source who are both tracking ad buys. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because the campaigns do not publicly track figures.

The Democratic source also said that groups supporting Mourdock are spending $2.1 million over the one-week period that began Tuesday, while $1.6 million is coming from Donnelly supporters. It's the most expensive one-week total yet in a race that has already blown away previous spending levels in any contest for a U.S. Senate seat in Indiana.

A new ad attacking Mourdock began airing this week from the super PAC backed by Reid, a Democratic Nevada senator.

"Washington's a mess, and Richard Mourdock would make it worse, saying 'It's time for confrontation,'" the narrator says over grainy footage of Mourdock jabbing his finger in the air. The ad then says Mourdock's first "confrontation" was threatening jobs by opposing the federal bailout of Chrysler.

The latest ad supporting Mourdock was released Wednesday and continues the strategy of tying Donnelly to Democratic leaders in Washington.

"Joe Donnelly's plan for the Senate? Keep Harry Reid and the liberal Democrats in charge," the narrator says as yellowed photos of Donnelly, Reid, President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi flash on screen.

Keller, the Club for Growth spokesman, said the latest ad shows that Donnelly is "just another liberal" who supported Washington spending on wasteful projects, such as the Lobster Institute in Maine.

Donnelly has pushed back against that argument throughout his campaign, noting most recently that he voted with Republican Speaker John Boehner about 60 percent of the time.

Donnelly had trouble competing with Mourdock's fundraising from July through September, raising half of the $3 million Mourdock pulled in. But new campaign finance rules, pioneered by Mourdock supporter Jim Bopp, have diminished the role of candidate spending and helped turn Indiana's Senate race into a faceoff between Reid's super PAC and former President George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove's super PAC.

According to a Republican tally of spending booked through Monday, the top four players in Indiana's Senate race are Rove's Crossroads GPS, which has spent $3.8 million; the Mourdock campaign, with $2.1 million; the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, with $2.1 million; and Reid's Majority PAC, which has spent $1.9 million.


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. I think the poster was being sarcastic and only posting or making fun of what is usually posted on here about anything being built in BR or d'town for that matter.

  2. Great news IRL fans: TURBO the IMS sanctioned movie about slugs running the Indy 500 has caught the Securities and Exchange Commission because Dreamworks had to take a $132MILLION write down...because the movie was such a flop. See, the Indy/IMS magic soiled another pair of drawers. Bwahahahahahaha! How's CARTOWN doing? HAHAHAHA...Indy is for losers.

  3. So disappointed in WIBC. This is the last straw to lose a good local morning program. I used to be able to rely on WIBC to give me good local information, news, weather and traffic on my 45 minute commute.Two incidents when I needed local, accurate information regarding severe weather were the first signs I could not now rely on WIBC. I work weekend 12 hour nights for a downtown hospital. This past winter when we had the worst snowfall in my 50 years of life, I came home on a Sunday morning, went to sleep (because I was to go back in Sunday night for another 12 hour shift), and woke up around 1 p.m. to a house with no electricity. I keep an old battery powered radio around and turned on WIBC to see what was going on with the winter storm and the roads and the power outage. Sigh. Only policital stuff. Not even a break in to update on the winter storm warning. The second weather incident occurred when I was driving home during a severe thunderstorm a few months ago. I had already gotten a call from my husband that a tornado warning was just southwest of where I had been. I turned to WIBC to find out what direction the storm was headed so I could figure out a route home, only to find Rush on the air, and again, no breaking away from this stupidity to give me information. Thank God for my phone, which gave me the warning that I was driving in an area where a tornado was seen. Thanks for nothing WIBC. Good luck to you, Steve! We need more of you and not the politics of hatred that WIBC wants to shove at us. Good thing I have Satellite radio.

  4. I read the retail roundup article and tried Burritos and Beers tonight. I'm glad I did, for the food was great. Fresh authentic Mexican food. Great seasoning on the carne asada. A must try!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...