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Go inside US Sen. Joe Donnelly’s campaign

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Seven weeks before Election Day, U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly said he knows the nation’s watching this race.

But, he said, he’s fighting hard to keep his seat and earn Hoosiers’ vote.

“It’s a close race. It’s gonna stay close to the end. I run every race like I’m 10 points down with 10 days to go,” the Democrat serving Indiana said. 

Is Donnelly confident he’ll keep his seat?

“Oh, I feel good about my chances. We’re working nonstop. I go to all 92 counties, on a constant basis, to every corner of the state. What people want is hard work, common sense and someone who cares about their family. That’s what I do every day.”

Republican candidate Mike Braun’s camp balked at those comments.

Braun campaign spokesman Josh Kelley said, “Despite millions pouring in from D.C. liberals, Mike Braun is surging in the polls because Hoosiers are sick of talk from career politicians like Joe Donnelly and are ready for the solutions a job creator like Mike Braun will bring to Washington.” 

Donnelly also has some work to do before the Nov. 6 election.

Last week, U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh carefully walked a tightrope during a spirited Senate confirmation hearing. Donnelly met with Kavanaugh last month and said he’s going through Kavanaugh’s speeches, law review articles and more than 300 court decisions. 

Donnelly said, “This is a lifetime appointment that affects all of our families. … I want to make sure we get it right.”

About the vote, Braun said in a statement Monday, “Once his vote doesn’t matter, Senator Donnelly will vote for Judge Kavanaugh to try to trick Hoosiers into believing he’s not a liberal Democrat, but we’re not buying it. Instead of waiting for liberal permission, I challenge Donnelly to immediately join me and the majority of Hoosiers who support Judge Kavanaugh.”

Donnelly said he’s focused on strengthening health care and creating jobs. In Indiana and other conservative states, Donnelly said he works with President Trump. 

“I’ll work with any president, but I work for the people of Indiana. When President Obama was president, I worked with him on various pieces of legislation. Some I voted for, others I said ‘I think this is a better idea.’ Same with President Bush, and I do the same with President Trump. I’ve been with him 62 percent of the time. But, the rest of the time, such as when he’s worked to try to take away health care from Hoosiers, I said ‘No. Stop. This doesn’t work,’ and have actually told him, ‘Look, there’s better ways to do this.”

Braun’s camp balked at that comment. Kelly said, “It’s an election year, so of course career politician Joe Donnelly is trying to fool Hoosiers into believing he doesn’t stand with his Democrat boss Chuck Schumer who wants to impeach President Trump. Unlike Donnelly, who says one thing and does another in Washington, Mike Braun will stand with President Trump on his economic agenda that is putting more money in Hoosiers’ pockets every day.” 

Finally, Donnelly talked about that anonymous  New York Times op-ed that came out last week. It said there’s someone inside Trump’s administration who is part of the resistance.

Donnelly said he read it, but he said that doesn’t really effect anything he does at home in Indiana.