Fort Wayne is used to seeing Indianas U.S. Senate candidates, but not in person.
The campaigns of Democrat Joe Donnelly and Republican Richard Mourdock have played out in TV commercials and news media coverage. But the candidates have made few public appearances in the Summit City ahead of next Tuesdays election.
State Treasurer Mourdock is scheduled to speak tonight at the Allen County Republican Partys annual Bean Dinner at Cerutis Summit Park.
Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-2nd, apparently has made only two public appearances in Fort Wayne in that time, and both were last week. Donnelly attended a Democratic Party rally on Saturday at Headwaters Park, and he spoke to Anthony Wayne Rotary Club on Wednesday at Don Halls Guesthouse.
It used to be very common for candidates to talk to the actual voters on the street and in cafés and in restaurants and other public venues. Thats very rarely done anymore, said Ray Scheele, a political scientist at Ball State University.
Instead, todays candidates for statewide offices plan meetings and rallies with targeted audiences and hope TV crews will report on them in the process, Scheele said.
Everything is so preprogrammed now, he said.
On Monday, Donnelly scheduled campaign appearances with military veterans at a café in Jeffersonville, an American Legion post in New Albany and a restaurant in Evansville. Former Navy Secretary John Dalton joined Donnelly at the stops.
Mourdock spoke Monday to supporters at a Greenfield restaurant and visited a Richmond senior housing community, according to media reports.
Andrew Horning, the Libertarian candidate for Senate, said in an email that he has made three campaign appearances in Fort Wayne. He said he has had to cancel a Wednesday appearance at Anthony Wayne Rotary Club because of a work commitment.