Legal Insurrection first became interested in Richard Mourdock in November 2011, long before others thought he had a chance of defeating Richard Lugar in the primary, and endorsed him on February 28.

We followed that primary through to victory night, and since then have tracked Mourdock’s efforts to catch Democrat Joe Donnelly in fundraising.

The race is considered a “toss-up” by Roll Call, but in the assessment of Real Clear Politics leans slightly to Mourdock:

10/15/2012 — Indiana regulates polling strictly, so we’ve been starved for information here. The best guess is that Mourdock is ahead, but that it is still a close race.

HuffPo Pollster also suggests a small Mourdock lead:

In Indiana, three new polls from this past week find Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) trailing Richard Mourdock (R) by low single-digit margins. The new data marks a favorable trend for Mourdock, and he now leads by 4.4 points in the HuffPost Pollster estimate.  The Indiana race continues to be rated a “tossup,” however, given the relatively sparse polling available in the state.

Mourdock has been hampered by Richard Lugar’s attempt to undermine the effort.  Rather than unite the party as would have happened if Lugar won, Lugar refuses to campaign with Mourdock or even to offer strong support, as evidenced in Lugar’s objection this week when an outside group suggested Lugar supported Mourdock:

Lugar is campaigning for the Republican running for Attorney General, making clear Lugar is guided by his hurt feelings from the primary (emphasis mine):

Senator Richard Lugar won’t campaign for Richard Mourdock, yet he is campaigning for another Republican, Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

Lugar is staying out of the Senate race but he’s clearly not quitting politics. It helps make the point that his refusal to campaign for Mourdock is personal and intentional.

Nonetheless, Mourdock had a much better 3rd Quarter fundraising than Donnelly, but the real story is outside spending:

Spending in Indiana’s tight U.S. Senate race topped $20 million this week …

According to a Republican tally of spending booked through Monday, the top four players in Indiana’s Senate race are Rove’s Crossroads GPS, which has spent $3.8 million; the Mourdock campaign, with $2.1 million; the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, with $2.1 million; and Reid’s Majority PAC, which has spent $1.9 million.

It is important not only to help Tea Party candidates win primaries, but to get them across the finish line, particularly where the outgoing Republican primary loser is trying to undermine the effort.

Please donate to Richard Mourdock.