Senate race spending may break records

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — This year's battle for the U.S. Senate in Indiana may soon become the most expensive political race in state history.

If that happens, it will because of spending by special interests and Washington PACs that have so far spent about $12 million here. The money goes to TV ads and, interestingly, it is split almost evenly between ads supporting Republican Richard Mourdock and ads supporting Democrat Joe Donnelly.

On Tuesday three organizations including the moderate PAC known as Center Forward combined to buy a million dollars worth of airtime to run ad attacking Richard Mourdock. Democrat Joe Donnelly appreciates the support, suggesting that it caught conservatives by surprise.

"They thought they could buy Indiana's Senate seat," said Donnelly. "It turns out not so much, that the people of Indiana are going to make that decision."

Meantime, the PAC know as Club for Growth Action just announced a half million dollar purchase of airtime to attack Donnelly with a new ad. Club for Growth Action wants voters to think about which party will control the Senate where Democrat Harry Reid is now the majority leader, and that's what Richard Mourdock wants, too.

"That's why you're seeing millions of dollars coming in from Harry Reid to help my opponent," said Mourdock. "It's why you're going to see more and more of that coming in from the George Soros's and the people on the Democratic side and, to be sure there are people coming in helping us from outside this state."

It's an atmosphere where candidates have little control and Donnelly doesn't like it. "This system is, unfortunately, really broken," he said.

The record for spending in an Indiana political race was set in 2004 when Mitch Daniels and Joe Kernan spent over $33 million in the race for governor. Spending in the Senate race is well over $20 million already and the end to that spending is not yet in sight.

 

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