Dems, GOP open week with on-air Senate salvo

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH/AP) — It's a new week and that means new attack ads in Indiana's U.S. Senate race. Huge amounts of money are going on television even if you don't factor in the spending by outside groups. Richard Mourdock is spending $300,000 on a new ad, according to one estimate. That takes his campaign total to more than $8 million.

Mourdock's latest ad is a new approach at delivering an old message. It makes the case that Democrat Joe Donnelly is a liberal. One line in the ad says, "Donnelly follows Obama and Pelosi going the wrong way."

The attempt to link Donnelly to big name Democrats, is risky, according to one political scientist.

“Trying to tie him to the Speaker of the House or the minority leader of the House simply isn't going to be very effective," says Ray Scheele of Ball State University.

But it may also be why Donnelly is campaigning alone, Monday visiting a farm near Greenfield to make the argument that he can work with Republicans.

"I have fought and fought and fought to get a farm bill passed," said Donnelly, "so we can have certainty for our farmers... making sure that instead of doing politics, doing Democrat, Republican all of that nonsense, that we just focus on doing what's right for the Hoosier state."

Even on the farm, however, the ads are getting through and one farmer had a message for Donnelly.

"We need some truth in advertising," said the man who left before he could be identified. "We feel insulted by the advertising of campaign rhetoric and half-truths."

Donnelly told him that he appears in his own ads because of that sort of criticism.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, meanwhile, is running attack ads on his behalf, just as the National Republican Senatorial Committee is doing for Mourdock. It's going to be a little over five weeks before that attack ads go away.

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