Ahead of Tuesday's Republican Senate primary in Indiana, six-term incumbent Dick Lugar has a message for Hoosier voters: "At this point, help."
Lugar is trailing his conservative challenger, state treasurer Richard Mourdock, in a new poll released Friday. The Evansville Courier & Press reports that at a press conference soon after the poll was released, Lugar entreated voters of all political stripes to support him over Mourdock:
Just after the poll’s release, Lugar held a 20-minute news conference where he listed off a set of constituencies – farmers, labor unions, veterans, Jews, women, and ethnic minorities – that he said should support him, given what he’s done for them.
“I believe that right now, if a majority of Hoosiers were to vote in an election – that is all Hoosiers, regardless of party, Republicans, independents, Democrats – I would win. I have a majority support in our state,” Lugar said.
“I want everybody in the state to vote for me on Tuesday – everybody. I’m not asking anybody to cross over. I’m just saying, positively register your vote, because if you do not, I may not be able to continue serving you. At this point, help. I would say it is very, very important that people get there, and they get there fast.”
Lugar also said Mourdock is "simply unqualified to handle the complex situations in our world today" and warned voters not to elect an unqualified person to the Senate.
Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, a Lugar protege who has endorsed and supported his mentor in this race, told the Courier & Press that he would support Mourdock in the general election and that Mourdock could win against the Democratic challenger, congressman Joe Donnelly:
...if Mourdock wins, Daniels said he’ll have no trouble supporting him.
“He’s a thoroughly credible person – you know, a friend and ally of mine,” Daniels said. “I was in an awkward position, to say the least, here, between two people I know and like and admire. But one of them, I have a lifelong loyalty to, and that was the tiebreaker.”
Lugar’s campaign charged that Mourdock would face a much tougher battle in the fall against Donnelly than Lugar would. Daniels said “maybe so,” but that Mourdock’s chances if that’s the case “are much better than even of succeeding.”