Missouri might not be the only state this year where the Republican candidate’s statement about rape costs the party a Senate seat. In last nights Indiana Senate debate, Republican candidate Richard Mourdock was asked about his stance on abortion. Mourdock responded that he oppose abortion even in cases of rape because that can be something “God intended to happen.” From CBS News:
“I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God,” Mourdock said. “And I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
Democrats immediately pounced on his comments, and Donnelly — who is also pro-life but who supports exceptions for rape and incest — released a statement questioning the notion that God would “intend for rape to happen.”
The statement from Mourdock alone is damaging and will likely turn off many women voters. What makes it even worse politically is that it perfectly feeds into the narrative that Democratic candidate Joe Donnelly has been using against Mourdock for months. The democratic attack against Mourdock is that he is too radically right wing. Even though the voters of Indiana lean Republican, Mourdock is simply too far outside the mainstream to support. This rape comment, which I can only assume is being integrated into a big ad buy as we speak, powerfully highlights this message.
Before these comments the Indiana Senate race was extremely close. An internal poll from Donnelly release early yesterday showed him with a two point lead. This comment could be the opening that allows Donnelly to secure victory.