To gauge President Obama’s strength this fall, an early sign of tea party strength in primary elections could be an indicator of how well the President will fare in the general election. There is, arguably, no better place to gauge the tea parties strength than in the normally “red” state of Indiana where six term incumbent Senator Richard Lugar faces a serious challenge from State Treasurer Richard Mourdock. The lead up to the May primary has been ugly. Lugar will switch his voter registration to his family farm in Indiana to resolve a dispute with election officials who ruled he couldn’t vote using the address of an Indianapolis home he sold in 1977.
The resolution that Lugar’s lawyers reached Friday with elections board headed off a court hearing on a challenge from Lugar, who lives in Virginia. The judge dismissed the case after lawyers agreed Lugar could legally vote from the farm in Marion County that has been in his family for more than 80 years. Lugar is facing one of his toughest election battles in the Republican primary against state Treasurer Richard Mourdock. Lugar has received criticism for his decision not to keep a home in Indiana while serving in the Senate.
A super PAC supporting Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar is readying an attack against his Republican primary opponent. The ad posted online Friday attacks the anti-tax Club for Growth for supporting state Treasurer Richard Mourdock’s campaign against Lugar. Hoosiers for Economic Growth and Jobs is spending $100,000 to air the ad on Indianapolis television stations next week. The group has said in mailers to supporters it plans to raise $1.75 million to support Lugar. Meanwhile, other super PACs and national interest groups are playing a bigger role in the race as Indiana’s May 8 Republican primary draws near. The Club for Growth has spent more than $250,000 on an ad attacking Lugar that will run statewide through next week. Another pro-Lugar group spent $35,000 on a cable ad attacking Mourdock.
The Indiana Debate Commission announced Tuesday that it is accepting questions for the April 11 debate through Facebook or its website. Questions will be screened by the commission. Voters whose questions are chosen may ask them in person or through a pre-taped video. The one-hour debate will be held at 7 p.m. at the Indianapolis studios of television station WFYI. Former NBC News correspondent and Ball State University professor Phil Bremen will be the moderator. Debate commission President Max Jones says the debate will focus on the economy, international affairs and other topics.