WASHINGTON -- As longtime Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar fights for his political life, he is warning Hoosiers that if his "tea party"-backed opponent wins this week’s primary, it would hand the longtime Republican-held seat to Democrats this fall -- and dampen GOP chances to gain majority control of the Senate.
In an email push, "Forewarn Family & Friends," before Tuesday’s election, the Lugar camp told supporters -- without naming his opponent, Richard Mourdock -- that a loss would sacrifice the seat. Republicans need four seats to win majority control of the Senate.
"Save Dick Lugar and Indiana's Senate seat," the email said, noting that polls show Lugar's political fate will be decided by "just a few votes in each neighborhood."
Mourdock, the Indiana state treasurer, has found support among the party faithful as he positions himself further along the right flank than Lugar, who has represented Indiana for 35 years.