Indiana Daily Student

Mourdock, Donnelly skip conventions

The first time Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., the third most senior member of the U.S. Senate, was mentioned in a speech was not at the Republican National Convention but at the Democratic one.

“Unfortunately, the faction that now dominates the Republican Party. They think government is always the enemy, they’re always right, and compromise is weakness,” former President Bill Clinton said in his Aug. 5 speech. “Just in the last couple of elections, they defeated two distinguished Republican senators because they dared to cooperate with Democrats on issues important to the future of the country, even national security.”

Lugar lost in the primary by Tea Party-backed State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who will face U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-2nd District, in the November election.

But while Democrats decried the “extremism” they said was apparent in the struggle between Mourdock and Lugar, Donnelly stayed home.

“Joe did not attend the convention because he thought it was more important to spend his time here in Indiana,” spokeswoman Elizabeth Shappell said. “He spent his week traveling the state, talking about being a common sense, bipartisan voice for middle class families as opposed to Richard Mourdock’s ‘my way or the highway’ approach that will get us nowhere.”

Mourdock slammed Donnelly’s decision to stay away from the convention in Charlotte, N.C.

“The president’s policies, like Obamacare, the failed stimulus plan and the bailouts of Wall Street aren’t popular in Indiana, which Joe Donnelly voted for,” said Chris Connor, a spokesperson for Mourdock’s campaign. “Donnelly ducked the DNC convention and Obama to avoid discussing such policies.”

This criticism came after Mourdock decided not to attend the RNC in Tampa, Fla.
“Governor Romney came into Evansville in support of Mourdock several weeks before the RNC convention, so he didn’t make the trip to Tampa,” Connor said.

The latest Rasmussen poll, released in early August, named the Mourdock-Donnelly race as a “dead heat.”

Telephone polls of people Rasmussen identified as “likely voters” churned out 42 percent who plan to vote for Mourdock and 40 percent in favor of Donnelly.

Vaguely named “other candidates” received 3 percent of the vote, and 15 percent reported they remain undecided.

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