Businessman and former State Rep. Mike Braun and congressmen Luke Messer and Todd Rokita – candidates running for Indiana US Senate – are set for their second debate. The three men are battling to become the person to take on Democrat Joe Donnelly in the fall.
In their first debate in nearly two months, the candidates will take the stage Sunday, 7 p.m. at the WISH-TV studio in Indianapolis.
However, before the candidates take the stage in only their second debate of the entire campaign, there are some things to watch out for and which could have a big impact on the race:
- Syria: On Friday evening, President Donald Trump announced the “strategic and precision” bombing of locations in Syria in response to the Syrian chemical attacks. In a campaign that has been marked with the continually repeated phrase “pro-Trump,” how will the candidates react? Would they have done anything differently than the president? Would they have done it alone, without France or Britain? Would they have done it earlier? Should America even be getting involved in Syria?
- Negative attacks: This campaign has grown increasingly negative, primarily due to the Rokita campaign. The Rokita campaign has repeatedly called Messer a “never-Trumper,” saying he colluded to take the nomination away from Donald Trump, while providing little evidence. Braun has called both Messer and Rokita career politicians having accomplished little. Will these attacks continue and will the candidates finally be called on to answer his claims?
- Scandals: How will the candidates answer scandals unearthed about them and/or their campaigns? Just this week, it was revealed that Rokita may have violated ethics laws as Indiana’s Secretary of State, accessing a GOP database while on government time. Rokita was ultimately locked out of the database by GOP officials. It has also been revealed by the AP that Rokita has used more than $3 million in public funds in years his name will appear on the ballot on mailers, radio ads and other communication materials. How will Messer answer his residency issue? Late last year it was revealed that Messer primarily lives in D.C. and not in the district he represents. It has also been covered that Braun, as a state representative, pushed for and supported legislation that would’ve helped him benefit financially.
- Pro-Trump: Donald Trump has played a huge role in this race. All three candidates have uttered the phrase “pro-Trump” a ridiculously absurd amount of times, in TV ads, radio ads, speeches and campaign emails. In a campaign that has been noticeably empty of original ideas, saying “pro-Trump” seems to act as a cover for this fact of lack of ideas. Will the candidates put forth original ideas Sunday night? Also, will they explain at point, if any, do they or would they, differ from the president?
Indiana’s primary election day is less than a month away and Sunday night’s debate should serve as an excellent opporuntity to hear directly from the candidates.