EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

World/National News

October 14, 2012

Voter ticket-splitting could determine next Senate majority

(Continued)

Indiana is a “conservative state but a state that looks for results, not strident partisanship, in the tradition of Richard Lugar and Evan Bayh,” Donnelly said in an interview.

Lugar is backing the Republican but making no major effort to help the GOP candidate. Donnelly is hoping to sway some of the senator’s GOP supporters, repeatedly referring to his work with the longtime lawmaker.

On Friday, Donnelly got some help from former President Bill Clinton who drew a crowd of 4,000 at the Hoosier Commonsense Rally.

“What is this idea that it’s my way or the highway?” Clinton told the crowd. “I was raised to believe nobody’s right all the time. Maybe Mr. Mourdock is, I don’t know. He’s way right all the time.”

In Massachusetts, Republican Sen. Scott Brown also is talking bipartisanship in his race against Democrat Elizabeth Warren. Brown won a special election in January 2010 to fill the seat of the late Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy, but this election he’ll likely face 700,000 to 800,000 more voters, many Democrats or independents who favor Democrats.

Polls in the state show Obama with a hefty double-digit lead over Romney, a former Massachusetts governor. The same survey shows Brown and Warren in a tight race.

Not surprisingly, Brown tells viewers in a recent commercial, “To me, creating jobs is more important than what party you belong to. That’s why one of the first votes I took as a senator was for a Democratic jobs bill.”

Montana and North Dakota are expected to go for Romney, but split-ticket voting could lift first-term Democratic Sen. Jon Tester and Heidi Heitkamp, respectively. Republicans and Democrats say both have run near flawless campaigns to make their races highly competitive against a strong GOP political headwind.

Heitkamp, North Dakota’s former attorney general, recently said she’s “not in this for any reason other than solving problems.”

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