Indiana GOP Sen. Richard Lugar says he can beat Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly, who launched a challenge against him Monday. Lugar also said on CNN he believes he can hold his own against any challengers in the 2012 Republican primary.
“I’m very hopeful of course that our early campaigning and fundraising has brought about a situation of continuing strength in Indiana and that we’ll be prepared to win the primary and general election," Lugar said in an interview on CNN’s “John King, USA” Monday night. “I believe we would beat Joe Donnelly.”
The six-term senator, who also faces a primary challenge from another Republican, Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, said he expects that others also will try to unseat him in 2012. Some local and national groups are trying to find a consensus conservative candidate to challenge Lugar.
The Democratic Party believes that "I might lose the primary and therefore there might be an opportunity to take over the seat,” Lugar said. Donnelly "may not be the last of those who want to participate in either the primary or the general election.”
Donnelly’s challenge to Lugar was not a surprise, as Indiana lawmakers re-drew his House district to include more Republican voters.
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