|A small protest by liberals outside Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly's downtown Indianapolis office this week could signal trouble for his 2018 re-election hopes.
Some of those who protested against Donnelly's decision to break with his party and to support Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court said they were uneasy about voting for him next year. That liberal pushback against the moderate Donnelly comes as he's already being targeted by national Republicans in a state that President Donald Trump carried by 19 percentage points.
Pamela Griffin, a retired Indianapolis elementary school teacher, said she was going to think "long and hard" about supporting Donnelly in next year's election, while acknowledging it was "kind of a fluke" he was elected in the Republican-dominated state in 2012.
"He's rubber-stamped some stuff that he shouldn't have for Trump," Griffin said. "I'm disappointed in him that he's not really doing what his party would want him to do."
Donnelly won his first Senate term in 2012 with just over 50 percent of the vote and is now the sole Indiana Democrat holding statewide office.
The National Rifle Association ran campaign-style ads in the past week questioning Donnelly's pro-gun stance if he wasn't willing to support Gorsuch, which he did on Thursday, joining three other Democrats who voted to end his party's filibuster. Two Republican U.S. House members, Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, have signaled they may challenge Donnelly for his seat next year.