Voters in yesterday’s Indiana Republican Primary made history. U.S. Senator Richard Lugar became only the second senator in history with 36 years or more of incumbency to be defeated in his own party’s primary.
It wasn’t close, either — State Treasurer Richard Mourdock trounced Lugar, winning three of every five votes.
During the race, Sen. Lugar’s residency problem became clear: he hadn’t actually lived in Indiana since 1976. Voters tend to dislike the same person wielding power for four decades and only visiting, now and then, the people he represents.
Nor did it help being tagged “President Obama’s favorite Republican.”
An article in the Indianapolis Star, “Outside money flows in to state’s U.S. Senate race,” informed readers that $4 million was spent by political groups not controlled by the candidates, and that 70 percent backed challenger Mourdock. But Lugar, the powerful incumbent, was still able to raise enough “inside money” to outspend Mourdock by nearly two to one — running nasty attack ads against the challenger.
Without the independent groups and PACs, Lugar’s insider funding and incumbent edge would have been a whopping four to one.
The ability of more voices to speak out helped make the challenger competitive against the incumbent.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.