The latest veteran lawmaker to be the subject of a vigorous primary challenge is the 80-year-old Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, who is being challenged for the Republican nomination by State Treasurer Richard Mourdock.
Mr. Lugar has won every race he has run since 1967, when he was elected mayor of Indianapolis, save for a close call in which he narrowly failed to defeat the longtime Democratic incumbent senator Birch Bayh in 1974. Mr. Lugar was elected to the Senate two years later by defeating another Democratic incumbent, Vance Hartke, in 1976. Mr. Lugar was instrumental in passing a 1992 law that helped to secure the former Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal, and his genteel center-right politics are a good fit for Indiana, where he has normally been re-elected easily.
But senators and other elected officials who once seemed untouchable have become fair game for primary challenges in the last several years, and Mr. Lugar has a formidable problem on his hands with Mr. Mourdock. The latest poll in the race, from Wenzel Strategies for the Citizens United Political Victory Fund, which supports Mr. Mourdock, put Mr. Mourdock ahead 44 to 39 percent.
Continue reading Lugar Loss Could Provide Pickup Opportunity for Democrats