“This fall I’m supporting Richard Mourdock for the senate,” says presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
The new spot comes just two weeks before the general election and serves to sand off some of Mourdock’s rough Tea Party edges according to one analyst.
“Tea party is never mentioned,” said Dr. Kristina Sheeler of IUPUI. “I think its going to be a boom for Mourdock. He’s got Romney endorsing him.”
In the ad, Romney reminds viewers of Mourdock’s close work with Governor Mitch Daniels as state treasurer and that Mourdock’s election could give republicans the 51st vote they need in the senate to overturn President Obama’s health care reform.
“He’s potentially got Daniels endorsing him because Romney mentions Mourdock working with Daniels,” said Sheeler. “He’s potentially pulling in Lugar republicans by talking about health care and he’s positioning Mourdock as against all those liberals in Washington.”
Mourdock’s defeat of longtime Indiana senator Richard Lugar in the party’s May primary soured many moderate and established republicans in Indiana who were turned off by the challenger’s Tea Party affiliations.
“Its time when those Lugar republicans aren’t certain who they’re voting for or if they are or they aren’t certain if they’re going to the polls so he wants to find a way to reinvigorate them,” said Sheeler. “Its something that talks positively about Mourdock and doesn’t even mention Donnelly.”
Sheeler said the democrat needs to keep reaching out to disaffected republicans.
“Donnelly has to continue to paint himself as a moderate, not the extreme liberal that Mourdock is trying to say he is. He just has to bring in other moderate folks. Get those Lugar republicans activated in some way, talk about issues that might have been important to the Lugar republicans as well.”
Indiana democrats describe the Mourdock/Romney ad as, “weak.”