Monday, May 23, 2011

Mourdock Has The Support Of A Majority Of State Committee

State Treasurer Richard Mourdock previously announced he had the support of Indiana's National Republican Committeeman and Committeewoman, James Bopp and Dee Dee Benkie, respectively, and 75% of the county chairs. Today he announced that he has secured the support of 10 of the 18 members who make up the state party's central committee. Mourdock's campaign says several of the remaining committee members have a policy of not making endorsements in contested primaries or have chosen to remain neutral in the race. “I know we are still roughly a year away from the 2012 Primary Election, but I am pleased about the continued momentum that our campaign is gaining across Indiana and the direction we are heading,” Mourdock said.

Gov. Mitch Daniels and State GOP Chairman Eric Holcomb are going to find themselves walking a tightrope in next year's Senate primary race. Daniels owes his political career in large part to his mentor, Sen. Lugar. Now that he has decided against a White House bid, he will be spending a lot more time in the state and will be much closer to the primary race as it unfolds. Holcomb won the state GOP position on the strength of his impressive work managing Daniels' successful statewide gubernatorial campaigns. His heart is no doubt with Lugar, but he will have to remain neutral to avoid problems managing the state party with a majority of his committee now backing Mourdock.

Mourdock's biggest challenge appears to be in the fundraising department. Lugar has amassed a large war chest going into next year's race, while Mourdock is far behind him and has a long way to go to raise sufficient money to afford a statewide media campaign. The coming months will reveal whether the large grassroots support Mourdock is building for his uphill campaign will translate into fundraising success. Mourdock won't have to match Lugar's fundraising numbers, but he will have to do better than he has to date to be competitive. Both Lugar and Mourdock should find raising money easier without a Daniels presidential campaign competing for limited dollars among the same pool of big contributors.

5 comments:

rohshack147 said...

If Senator Lugar has any brains left he will bow out of the race now! As far as Mitch goes he has no choice but to back Lugar. I am sure he knows that Lugar will exact revenge if Mitch tries to throw hiw overboard. If ten of the state central commitee members are indeed backing Mourdock than that is a serious blow to the republican esatblishment in this state! Hopefully we Republicans can rid ourselves of the Lugar elitists and their ilk once and for all!

BayernFan said...

Lugar is not going to lose a GOP primary in Indiana. Get real folks.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Gary, did you hear if Lugar was at the Republican state dinner? A high-ranking Republican compained to me about Lugar that he hasn't been to one of their state dinners in 20 years. He used to be a big Lugar backer. No more.

I also heard there were a lot of top Republcian who are unhappy that Lugar doesn't even have a residence in Indiana. The issue of Lugar's lack of residence, and lying about his residence to vote, will be a political issue in the election even if it does not turn out to be a legal issue.

BayernFan, I don't think you realize how unhappy the Republican rank-and-file is with Lugar. Whether that will translate to the Republican electorate remains to be seen. But it's not exactly a large step.

Advance Indiana said...

I also heard Mourdock's campaign doesn't plan to make an issue of the residency issue, Paul. If that is the case, then he doesn't deserve to win the nomination. The Democrats are going to go for his throat on the issue if Lugar is renominated, particularly after the Charlie White case.

Paul K. Ogden said...

AI,

I think Mourdock would prefer others do the heavy lifting and attack the issue. But it would be more effective coming from the candidate, albeit some would view Mourdock negatively for doing so.

I guarantee the Ds will attack the issue head on. That's one reason Donnelly is in the race. Maybe Lugar could at least rent an apartment in the State instead of using someone's house as his address?