TERRE HAUTE —
There are no days of rest for candidates this election, and Richard Mourdock left church Sunday and headed straight to a meeting with campaign volunteers, two days before voters go to the polls.
The Republican candidate for Indiana’s seat in the U.S. Senate greeted volunteers at MCL Cafeteria in Meadows Shopping Center after worshipping at Good Shepherd Baptist Church earlier.
Poll numbers showing him trailing are irrelevant compared with the election itself, he said, emphasizing his confidence that Tuesday’s count will find him the winner over Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly.
Vigo County GOP Chairman Randy Gentry remarked that the pace at which candidates such as Mourdock move is impressive as they travel about campaigning. With only two days left before the election, everyone is tired and excited, but also confident.
“And this is the man that I think is going to be the next United States Senator from Indiana,” he said, introducing Mourdock to his supporters inside the restaurant.
Mourdock said he announced his decision to run for the seat 632 days ago Sunday, in a move the Indianapolis Star characterized as “Mission Impossible.”
But defeating longtime Republican Sen. Richard Lugar wasn’t nearly as big a challenge as fighting negative ads from the Democrats, he said, remarking that more than $30 million has been spent on this race alone.
“Eight million dollars in negative ads will leave a mark,” he chuckled, explaining the Democrats need the Hoosier seat and are willing to fight for it.
The race to control the U.S. Senate hinges on Indiana, he said, and a win here could help Republicans dominate that body just as they do the U.S. House of Representatives. With that kind of control, Republicans can make “Congress work just like the Indiana statehouse,” he said.
Under Republican control, Indiana’s legislature has capped property taxes, lowered corporate income taxes and reduced the number of state employees to the lowest level since the 1970s, he said. Citing Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, he said people will never know how much government they’ll never miss with those reductions.
“Let’s make Washington work the way Indiana works,” he said, reiterating his pledge to help repeal “Obamacare,” legislation he said is unpopular even among Hoosier Democrats.
Mourdock said Sunday morning a Fort Wayne man announced he’ll buy more than $100,000 worth of full-page newspaper ads, out of his own pocket, to support Mourdock’s bid for the Senate. That kind of outpouring of support is one of the reasons he said his team is confident of a win Tuesday.
After the meeting, when asked by media about the potential impact his debate statements concerning abortion in the case of rape might have, he demurred and said those aren’t the issues concerning Hoosiers. The unemployment rate, the economy, and health care are the driving issues, he said.
“There’s only one poll that counts, and we are confident we are going to win,” he said.
Brian Boyce can be reached at 812-231-4253 or firstname.lastname@example.org