Sen. Dick Lugar, R-Ind., won re-election in 2006 by taking 87 percent of the vote against a Libertarian. His seat was considered so safe the Democrats did not field a candidate.
However, Lugar, who has served six terms in the Senate, lost his bid for re-election in 2012 in the Republican primary going down to defeat the tea party favorite state Treasurer Richard Mourdock by a margin of 61 percent to 39 percent.
Mourdock now faces Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., a three-term member of the House, in the general election.
Indiana is the reddest of states in the upper Midwest, having gone Democratic in national elections just twice since 1940, first for Lyndon Johnson in 1964 and then for Barack Obama in 2008. Nonetheless, Mourdock’s upset of Lugar has been noted.
The Cook Political Report rates the Senate race a tossup and The Rothenberg Political Report says it leans Republican. Recent polling put the race at a dead heat or shows Mourdock slightly ahead.
In the money race, Mourdock is ahead, raising $4 million to Donnelly’s $2.6 million. GOP standard bearers Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have stumped for Mourdock and he has been endorsed by Sarah Palin.
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