Longtime Senator Dick Lugar Loses in Indiana

Conservative Richard Mourdock easily defeats him; Romney cruises

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted May 8, 2012 6:42 PM CDT | Updated May 8, 2012 8:22 PM CDT

(Newser) – No miracles for Dick Lugar tonight: The six-term incumbent lost the GOP Senate primary in Indiana to Tea Party favorite Richard Mourdock, reports NBC News and CNN. The 80-year-old Lugar has been in the Senate since 1976, and he has ruled out running as an independent in November. He conceded about an hour after the polls closed. "I want to see a Republican in the White House," he said. "I want to see my friend Mitch McConnell have a Republican majority in the Senate. I hope that Richard Mourdock prevails in November so he can contribute to that Republican majority."

Lugar, in the words of the Indianapolis Star, "is an Indiana icon who has influenced everything from the political makeup of Indianapolis to global nuclear proliferation." But state treasurer Mourdock and Lugar's other critics said the man once dubbed "America's mayor" by Richard Nixon was too moderate and out of touch with the modern Republican party. Despite Lugar's hopes, the consensus is that his loss puts the Indiana seat in play for Democrats in the general election.

  • Romney cruises: In the foregone conclusion department, Mitt Romney won the presidential primaries in Indiana, North Carolina, and West Virginia, inching ever closer to the magic delegate number of 1,144. He's expected to be within 200 after tonight, reports AP.

Richard Mourdock listens to a question from a voter at a voting location Tuesday in Avon, Ind.
Richard Mourdock listens to a question from a voter at a voting location Tuesday in Avon, Ind.   (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Sen. Richard Lugar meets with voters outside of a polling location Tuesday in Greenwood, Ind.
Sen. Richard Lugar meets with voters outside of a polling location Tuesday in Greenwood, Ind.   (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
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