For 36 years, Jim Rice was a loyal supporter of Richard Lugar, the six-term Republican senator from Indiana with a reputation for compromise and stature in Washington. Now, Rice says he will vote for a Democrat.
President Barack Obama condemned remarks by an Indiana Republican U.S. Senate candidate who described pregnancy caused by rape as something “God intended,” saying it illustrated the stakes in the presidential election.
The election-year arithmetic in U.S. Senate races is growing increasingly complicated for Republicans, diminishing the party’s prospects of winning a majority that earlier this year was seen as within its grasp.
Abortion has been a campaign issue for decades. Rape is a more recent, and more troubling, point of political discussion. But understanding the connection between the two is essential to evaluating the controversies percolating in Senate races in Missouri and Indiana and what they entail for national politics.
Republican Richard Lugar came to Washington known as “Richard Nixon’s favorite mayor,” voted for President Ronald Reagan’s agenda more than any other senator, and is preparing to exit Congress a casualty of the anti-tax Tea Party.