State Treasurer Richard Mourdock announced today that he'll be challenging Senator Richard Lugar in the spring 2012 primary, where Lugar is expected to run for re-election to an 8th term. Mourdock has been posting this video to his Facebook and Twitter accounts, which show President Barack Obama speaking highly of Lugar.
Mourdock has an uphill battle, no matter how one looks at it. Lugar has been in Indiana politics for decades, and didn't even face a challenge from the Democrats when he was last re-elected. Lugar also votes the party line the vast majority of the time, and it's hard to make an argument as to why the START treaty is bad, at least in a 30-60 second soundbite. Hell, I'm having trouble figuring out why the START treaty is bad, and I actually pay attention to these type of things.
And perhaps the biggest challenge Mourdock might be facing is the threat of other challengers. State Senator Mike Delph has said he won't be endorsing Mourdock and thus is leaving the door open for his own candidacy, and I wouldn't be all that surprised if a "dark horse" candidate or two like Don Bates Jr. jumped into the race as well. Expect to see a repeat of the GOP 2010 Senate primary where the "Tea Party" vote gets split in multiple directions, allowing the establishment candidate to sail to victory if several challengers get into the primary.
It's an interesting time, to be certain.