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Witch hunt victim, or out of touch? Senate senior Lugar loses primary in Indiana May 27, 2012

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Richard Lugar served in the US Senate since 1976, but lost a bitter Republican primary in May 2012 to Tea Party candidate Richard Mourdock. Lugar’s concession speech indicated that he lost due to an “unrelenting partisan mindset,” and the incumbent concluded that Mourdock would fail as a politician if he didn’t change his attitude. However, many analysts indicated that Mourdock got the best of Lugar by simply painting him as out of touch. Mourdock took a ten point lead late in the election, especially after running ads claiming that Lugar had been living in Washington, DC, since 1977. As Caitlin Huey-Burns of RealClearPolitics.com explained the charges:

“Lugar sold his home in Indiana in 1977, soon after taking his Senate seat, and has lived in the D.C. suburbs of Northern Virginia ever since. The Marion County Election Board ruled that since Lugar did not own a home in Indiana, he could no longer vote there. Lugar fought the charges, but in doing so brought the issue into the national limelight. After the challenge, the board ultimately decided Lugar could claim his family farm in the county as a residence, and could thus vote. But the senator does not live on the farm and stays in hotels when he visits his home state. Though the issue was resolved, it underscores Lugar’s troubles. He finds himself in a difficult primary because he rarely returns home, one GOP operative told RCP in March, when the airwave battle started to boil.”

To see one of the most effective ads run by Mourdock, watch the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  What were the accusations in the “Ex-Hoosier” ad above?

2.  Why was the “Ex-Hoosier” ad so effective in crafting a logical argument for unseating Richard Lugar?

3.  Was Lugar more of a victim of partisanship, or his own failures?



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