The Indiana GOP Senate primary will take place exactly 12 weeks from tomorrow. Treasurer Richard Mourdock has yet to make a major dent in the race against Sen. Richard Lugar, but the contest is far from decided with three months left on the clock. Here are three developments from the day that are worth a closer look:
-- New numbers from Lugar: The Lugar campaign released the results of an internal poll, conducted by National Research Inc., that showed the incumbent leading Mourdock 55 percent to 30 percent.
The survey of 600 likely GOP primary voters was conducted from Feb. 8-9 and carries a margin of error +/- 4.0 percentage points.
-- Personnel Change: The poll release was noteworthy for the more than just its numbers. As Politico notes, the Lugar campaign had formerly been using American Viewpoint and is now using National Research. Interestingly, National Research has also done polling before for the Club for Growth, which is no Lugar fan. Lugar adviser David Willkie did not immediately respond to request for comment about the change in pollsters.
-- Another small buy from Mourdock: Mourdock is spending just $45,000 on a Fox News cable buy to run his latest TV ad during the next two weeks. The 30-second spot casts the incumbent as a wasteful spender.
Mourdock continues to make smaller-scale, targeted buys when it comes to doing TV. A large part of that is his underwhelming fundraising. He doesn't have the resources to make huge statewide buys given the struggles he's experienced raising money.