• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Silly season

Looks like this is a real race:

Richard Mourdock has closed within single digits of Sen. Dick Lugar in the Indiana GOP Senate primary race, according to a pair of polls commissioned by groups seeking to oust the six-term incumbent.

Both polls -- one paid for by Citizens United, the other by Rep. Joe Donnelly's campaign -- produced the same result: Lugar ahead by just 6 points, 45 percent to 39 percent.

The Citizens United-Wenzel Strategies survey last week of likely primary voters shared first with POLITICO has 15 percent undecided.

The Global Strategy Group survey for Donnelly highlights Lugar's shrinking margin.

"In October 2011, Lugar lead Mourdock by 12 points, 48 percent to 36 percent," writes pollster Jef Pollock.  "Today, that margin is cut in half, 45% to 39%."

This is a race I wouldn't try to predict on a bet. Mourdock is getting all the support from the conservative base, but Lugar is still one of the most popular politicians in Indiana history. These polls are from Mourdock supporters, so they need to be taken with a grain of salt, as do the claims of Lugar people that their own polling shows they have nothing to fear. And with people shifting their attention from "big government" to "continuing lousy economy," is the anti-Washington sentiment still as strong as it was in 2010? Dunno.

Here is The Associated Press on the "silly season" of accusations by Lugar and Mourdock against each other:

The "silly season" generally refers to the truth-stretching and poor sourcing that comes with campaign claims. Lugar political director David Willkie has used the term to deride allegations that the veteran senator is out of touch with Indiana because he hasn't lived here since 1977. Lugar's Democratic and tea party opponents have made hay out of the issue in frequent ads and press conferences.

The Lugar camp has fired back with a stretch of its own, accusing Mourdock of "absenteeism" for missing close to two-thirds of board meetings the state treasurer sits on, even though he's had representatives attend those meetings for the most part.

Whose accusations are sillier depends on which candidate you support, huh? Which is stretching the truth more, claiming Mourdock missed meetings to which he had sent representatives, or claiming Lugara's lack of residency here for three decades makes him more a senator for Virginia than for Indiana?