After longtime Indiana Senator Dick Lugar went down in an historic primary defeat last week, Democrats were aglow over the sudden competitiveness of Lugar’s seat. Lugar would have strolled away with the election; extreme right wing candidate Richard Mourdock was a different story entirely.
Polling suggests the Democrats may have be right. In the first poll taken since the primary, Mourdock and Democratic challenger Joe Donelly are tied at 40 percent. While more people know Mourdock—he’s the state treasurer, and has a knack for garnering headlines by threatening to sue the federal government and calling Medicare and Social Security unconstitutional and so on—he’s also quite unpopular after the grueling primary, as is the tea party that backed him. Donnelly, meanwhile, suffers from poor name recognition, but is well liked among those who know who he is.