As Indy Politics offered some pre-debate advice for the first Indiana Governor’s debate, we feel it’s only fair to do the same for the U.S. Senate debate coming up this evening.
With everyone’s polls showing the race a statistical tie and the conventional wisdom being that those “Lugar Republicans” will likely be the deciding factor in this contest, it would behoove Richard Mourdock, Joe Donnelly and even Andy Horning to speak to those groups and here is what they should say.
Republican Richard Mourdock
- Although we’ve been critical of the lack of outreach your campaign has done to this constituent group it is not too late to heal the damage, but tonight is your last night and perhaps only night to make good with this crowd. I would acknowledge the tough primary and how families still come together after tough fights. I would stress your relationship with Governor Daniels. How you’ve campaigned and worked to elect other Republicans. And also that a vote for Donnelly is a blank check for Harry Reid.
Democrat Joe Donnelly
- You have a bit of an easier path, but it is still tough. You have convince the Lugar Republicans that you will not rubber stamp the administration, should they get a second term. You should stress where you split with your party. And you should try to connect as much as you can with Lugar and talk about how the same votes you are getting attacked for by the Super PACS are being done by the same people who went after Senator Lugar. The big obstacle for you will be to explain your vote for the medical device tax.
Libertarian Andy Horning
- Because Senator Lugar is no longer in the race, there are some Republicans actually giving you a second and third look. The reasons for the voting for you are as wide reaching as they want to vote, but don’t want to vote for Donnelly or they want to vote for you as a way to stick it to the Mourdock people. If I were you, I would make that appeal that a vote for you is not wasted, and that people can vote for you for whatever reason. I would keep some of the scholarly constitutional talk down to a bear minimum. Everyone watching knows you what you believe.
And as always, our general advice. Stand up straight, enunciate clearly, smile and have fun. The debate airs tonight at 7 p.m. on RTV 6.