Back in February, we gave you a heads up about the tough fight shaping up in Indiana for veteran U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar.

Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar

He has not had a primary opponent since he first won election in 1976, and he’s been one of the most prominent Republicans in the Senate, leading the Foreign Relations Committee and serving as an advisor to numerous presidents.

But Lugar is being challenged by the state’s treasurer, Richard E. Mourdock, amid criticism from Tea Party members over his record. He’s also been embroiled in controversy over exactly where he lives.

Now, as a primary election approaches next month, his battle to keep his seat is getting even more intense.

Monica Davey in The New York Times takes a look at the race today. She reports that the Howey/DePauw Indiana Battleground Poll showed Lugar leading Mourdock by 42 percent to 35 percent among likely primary voters. That is within the poll’s margin of sampling error of plus or minus five points.

 


Although the political spotlight is on Michigan’s Feb. 28 primary right now, there’s another good political story bubbling in the Great Lakes states.

Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar

Richard Lugar, who turns 80 in April, has been one of Indiana’s U.S. senators as long as a lot of people have been alive. He was first elected to the Senate in 1977, and he’s served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee twice. Before he was elected to the Senate, he was mayor of Indianapolis.

But Lugar, a Republican, may face a stiff challenge from within his own party. The Chicago Tribune reports that the Club for Growth, an influential conservative group, is endorsing Lugar’s primary opponent, Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock. 

The Club’s president, Chris Chocola, questioned some of the votes that Lugar has taken on fiscal issues in Washington.

Lugar voted in favor of a Congressional bailout for Detroit automakers, and more recently, the Indiana senator opposed a ban on earmarks that was pushed for by Republicans in the Senate.

Lugar’s internal polling shows him well ahead in the Indiana race, according to the Tribune. But if he were to face a tough challenge, or even lose the Senate race, it could be a blow to President Barack Obama. He has cited Lugar as one of his good friends when he was in the Senate, even though the pair are from different parties.