Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar's 36-year run in the U.S. Senate will soon come to a close.
Lugar, 80, lost a challenge by Tea Party favorite Richard Mourdock in Tuesday's primary election. Mourdock, the state's treasurer, had criticized Lugar, saying the incumbent had become more interested in compromising with liberals than holding onto conservative beliefs.
Lugar had remained hopeful that a high voter turnout would help him survive, but poll workers said droves of people never came. And Although Lugar had an advantage at the beginning of the race from fundraising, recent Indiana polls showed support for Mourdock had gained momentum.
Indiana Democrats thanked Lugar for his service in a statement following Tuesday’s results.
"Like all Hoosiers, we owe Sen. Lugar a debt of gratitude for his long and storied career. From his service as a Naval Officer to the United States Senate, Sen. Lugar has spent over half a century doing difficult work on behalf of Hoosiers," said Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker.
Mourdock will face Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly in November.
Although both Democratic and Republican strategists see Donnelly as having a better chance to beat Mourdock than he would have had against Lugar, it remains to be seen whether Donnelly can raise enough money to make it a truly competitive race – given that Democratic donors must also fund much more competitive Senate contests in Ohio, Montana, Missouri, Wisconsin, Virginia and New Mexico.