Six years ago, Indiana Democrats didn't bother fielding a candidate against Sen. Richard Lugar. But with his loss in Tuesday's Republican primary, they think they have a real chance to take Lugar's seat.
Democrats argue that the new GOP nominee, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, will prove too conservative even for the Republican-leaning state.
"There's a lot of animus here because of the way Mourdock has campaigned," says Ann DeLaney, a former Indiana Democratic Party official.
Back before the conflagration that was World War II, some of Europe's great powers engaged in a surrogate struggle by arming the warring factions in the Spanish Civil War. It was a great way to test their latest weapons and tactics.
Here in our country and in our time, the role of Spain is being played by the state of Wisconsin, where a political civil war has raged for nearly 18 months — presaging the fierce national politics of this presidential year.
Watch Wisconsin over the next four weeks, and you will see where we are headed as a nation in the months ahead.
The nearly four-decade career of Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar has come to an end. The Republican elder statesman, well known as an internationalist and as a moderate willing to reach across the aisle, lost his primary battle to state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, a conservative upstart backed by the Tea Party.
"My public service is not concluded," Lugar said during his concession speech, according to Reuters. "I look forward to what can be achieved in the Senate in the next eight months despite a very difficult national election atmosphere."
Voters in Indiana, Wisconsin and North Carolina on Tuesday will decide the outcome of battles many see as proxy wars going into the fall elections.
-- In Indiana, voters will determine the fate of six-term Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, 80, a respected legislator who has run afoul of Tea Party activists.
-- In Wisconsin, they'll pick a Democrat from a field of four whose aim it will be to oust anti-union Republican Gov. Scott Walker in a June recall election prompted by his slashing of collective bargaining rights.