Friday, October 14, 2011

Tea Party Sets Sights Directly on Dick Lugar's Seat

In 2010, incumbent challenges were fairly rampant by the Tea Party members of the Republican Party. Well, it looks like one man has emerged as the focal point of Tea Party folks' efforts in 2012, and that's Richard G. Lugar.

Lucky him, right?

Lugar is just far too liberal for the Tea Party, and I have heard from more than one exasperated Republican that Lugar is out of touch with the Indiana GOP as well. They think that even though Lugar has a ton of money in the bank that he can use to defend himself.

I think he's going to need it. Richard Mourdock may not have raised nearly as much, but he's gotten the attention of a wide variety of Tea Party groups. That means that those groups can run their own ads on behalf of Mourdock.

Democratic candidate Joe Donnelly noted the Tea Party's fixation on Lugar for 2012, and he's trying to capitalize on it. In a letter to potential donors, Donnelly points out that Lugar is definitely under attack from forces inside his own party, "While Joe focuses on meeting Hoosiers across the state and increasing opportunities to improve our economy, the Republicans will continue their intra-party scrap. It gives our campaign the opportunity to prepare for whichever person comes out of an already ugly primary. And because of your help, we will be ready. Guaranteed."

I am interested to see how long Mourdock can ride this Tea Party wave. It seems like it's cresting or already has crashed to the shore. Lugar may be "vulnerable" as the Associated Press calls him, but he's far from a goner. It's Lugar's millions versus Mourdock's minions.

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