WSBT caught up with both candidates Thursday as they did some last-minute stumping in northern Indiana. Both said they’re confident they’ll come out with a win next Tuesday, but neither candidate wanted to talk about the fact that some political analysts have dubbed their contest one of the closest Senate races in the country.
“If you like the path of the last four years, if you like a stagnant economy, far too high unemployment rates, then you ought to vote for Mr. Donnelly," Mourdock said at a restaurant in Valparaiso. "But I'm trying to take the ideas we've been using in Indianapolis in the State House to get the economy going. I want to take those ideas to Washington."
“The fighting has to end in Washington,” Donnelly said outside a retirement home in South Bend. “We have to move the country forward. We have to reduce our debt, balance our budget, and those are the areas I've been focused on.”
But recent television ads on the race aren’t focused on those promises. Instead, they’ve shifted to attacks and defensive strategies surrounding Mourdock’s recent comments about rape, abortion and God’s will during a debate last month.
A Union Political Action Committee paid for the most recent attack ad.
When WSBT asked Mourdock about it, he said it’s not what people are talking about anymore.
“You’re saying people are talking about it. They're not talking to me about it – I came in this room and several other rooms this morning and the issue hasn't come up other than from the press,” he said.
WSBT also asked Donnelly if he feels his supporters “twisted” Mourdock’s words from that debate, as his opponent has said.
“Mr. Mourdock’s comments were hurtful to women, to rape survivors and to families. I thought after further reflection he might take those words back, but he has not,” Donnelly said.
That controversy spurred democrats and republicans to buy more commercial time, making this race one of the most expensive the Hoosier State has ever seen.
“His plan has been to smear me, my plan has been to talk about the things Hoosiers are talking about and we're going to see how Hoosiers decide this,” Mourdock told WSBT.
Both candidates are pro-life – Donnelly said he believes in exceptions in cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother.
Howey Politics is expected to release new, non-partisan poll numbers in the Senate race Friday.