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The worst blow yet to Dick Lugar’s narrative

The worst blow yet to Dick Lugar’s narrative

It has been a bad week for Dick Lugar:

But it just got worse.

A critical part of Lugar’s campaign narrative is the scare tactic that if Richard Mourdock is the nominee, the seat may be lost to Democrats.  I’ve addressed that argument before, pointing out that Democrat Joe Donnelly is a weak candidate.

Now Stuart Rothenberg writes at Roll Call that this seat likely would stay Republican if Mourdock is the nominee:

But this Senate race looks much tougher for Donnelly, who won election to Congress in the 2006 Democratic wave. Since 1974, the only Democrats to win an Indiana Senate race have been named Bayh (Evan in 1998 and 2004, and Birch in 1974), and while Obama carried Indiana four years ago, he isn’t expected to carry the state this year.

Like unsuccessful 2010 Senate nominee Brad Ellsworth, another moderate Democrat who initially was hyped by national Democrats but went nowhere, Donnelly is known only in the north-central part of the state, and voters outside his Congressional district aren’t likely to give him the benefit of the doubt when he talks about how “independent” he has been from the Obama administration. Republicans certainly have ammunition to tie him to Obama, such as his votes for health care reform, the stimulus and the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Donnelly voted against the Democrats’ cap-and-trade bill.

There is little doubt that Donnelly has a better chance of winning the Senate race against Mourdock than against Lugar. Even Mourdock supporters accept that fact, and that’s certainly why the Indiana Democratic Party has been trying to soften up Lugar whenever possible.

But acknowledging that Donnelly’s chances of winning improve if Mourdock is his opponent is very different than saying that a Donnelly-Mourdock race would be a tossup. While it could well be competitive, Donnelly would be a clear underdog in the fall.

Richard Mourdock is facing Lugar’s vast campaign wealth.  You can support Mourdock here.

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Comments

Another graybeard whose only claim to the seat is his “claim” to the seat. Long a part of the “slide” (your term, and a good one), he needs to go.

Well then, let’s combat Lugar’s scare tactics with some of our own [red] scare tactics!

Trevor Loudon of New Zeal blog has uncovered Lugar’s connection to the Marxist led Council for a Livable World. I just blogged about that last night. I’d add that Lugar’s connections to centrally planned green energy; his long fight for more gun control which has led the NRA and two other gun groups to endorse his opponent, Richard Mourdock; his support for the New START treaty; and the fact that he was instrumental in putting progressives like Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor on the Supreme Court, all suggest that his policy preferences are out-of-step with American conservatives.

[…] Legal Insurrection has information on Lugar and what may be his “worst blow yet.” I’ll have more on Mourdock in coming days. Check his list endorsements.  Visit Richard Mourdock’s campaign page here and donate if you can – he is up against big money from Lugar backing. […]

Taxpayer1234 | March 27, 2012 at 9:32 pm

I’m sorry to say that I voted for Lugar back in the 80s. I wish I were still an IN resident so I could help throw him out!

[…] Richard Mourdock is still in the race and a viable candidate.  Lugar’s now rolling out the ‘lose the seat’ argument, but as he’s oh-so-helpful to Democrats in a cross the aisle sort of way, the Republicans […]

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