A battle for control of the Republican Party has erupted as an emboldened Tea Party moved to oust senators who voted to reopen the government while business groups mobilized to defeat allies of the small-government movement.
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.
Sitting in a strip-mall campaign office with copies of checks from Sarah Palin and Herman Cain tacked on the wall, Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock calls his contest with Senator Richard Lugar a battle for the “heart and soul of the Republican Party in the Senate.”