The two men fighting for Indiana's U.S. Senate seat are slinging more mud than ever, just to sway your vote. But after talking to some voters during lunch in downtown Indianapolis, Eyewitness News has learned the negative ads are not having a positive impact.
"I just want to know what their purpose is. I don't care about what their thoughts are about the other person, if that makes any sense," said voter Jordan Snoddy.
"Enough is enough. Voters are just tired of it. They don't know who believe. One side feels, 'If they do it, then I have to do it'," said voter Mark Blade.
The stakes are so high, whoever wins the vote could help determine which party gains control of the U.S. Senate.
Republican Richard Mourdock, Democrat Joe Donnelly and Libertarian Andrew Horning will debate Monday night at the WFYI television studios in Indianapolis. It's one of two chances for voters to hear from the candidates outside of the non-stop negative ads.
"This might be the only chance for people to see the real people who are running for Senate, because up until now, it just has been real nasty commercials on both sides," said Indianapolis Star political columnist Matt Tully.
Organizers of the debate hope voters get involved with online questions, which could turn out to be an education for the candidates themselves. Questions will be taken for both Monday night's debate and the second debate, scheduled for October 23.
Although the candidates are crossing the state, doing public appearances to talk to as many voters as possible, when it comes to their political ads, many voters simply want less mud.
"Just tell me the good things about yourself and what you are wanting to do," Snoddy said.
More on the debate, Senate race
Monday night's debate at WFYI-TV's studio in Indianapolis comes after millions of dollars have been spent on campaign ads accusing Mourdock of Tea Party partisanship and Donnelly of supporting President Barack Obama's agenda.
Donnelly has put the seat in play for Democrats since Mourdock upended veteran Sen. Richard Lugar in May's GOP primary. Mourdock has had trouble locking in support from moderate Republicans. Libertarian Andrew Horning will also take part in Monday's debate. The second and final Senate debate will be Oct. 23 in New Albany.
Indiana's Senate battle is one of about a half-dozen tight races across the county that will decide whether Democrats or Republicans control the Senate. The race has drawn support from the national parties.
Over the next two weeks, three GOP senators will visit Indianapolis to rally for Mourdock. Former presidential candidate Sen. John McCain will fly in for a breakfast at Mo's Steakhouse Oct. 17. Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will appear at a private reception in Indianapolis Oct. 22nd, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) will attend lunch at The Columbia Club Oct. 24th. These fundraising events are closed to the public.
On Monday, the Mourdock campaign announced that it raised $3,004,374 from July through September and ended the 3rd FEC quarter with $1,335,872 cash on hand.
Last week, former President Bill Clinton visited Indianapolis to campaign for Joe Donnelly.
"It never hurts to have Bill Clinton say good things about you," Donnelly told the crowd at North Central High School last week.
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