Related Content: Richard Mourdock

The Most Consequential Candidates of 2012 Show the Art of Politics Is Interpretive

Essential Reads

Early next year, a Democrat will be sworn in as governor of red Montana. A Democrat will take her Senate seat in red North Dakota. Republican governors will gear up for reelection bids in blue Michigan and Wisconsin. They all won in spite of unfavorable political landscapes because candidates, and their campaigns, matter. A strong campaign and a sharp candidate can overcome long odds, while a weak campaign can wilt even with the wind at its back.

The Big Straddle: Why Compromise Can Be Hazardous to One’s Political Health

Gwen's Take

“There’s nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos.”

Jim Hightower, a committed liberal and former Texas Agriculture Commissioner, liked to say this so much that he finally used it as a title for a book.

I was reminded of this tart assessment this week as I watched two skilled politicians attempt to negotiate a growing chasm opening under their feet. One of them, Indiana GOP Sen. Richard Lugar, slipped and fell. The other, President Obama, appeared to leap nimbly to the other side of the sinkhole just before it swallowed him up.

PBS NewsHour: Assessing the Indiana Senate Race After Lugar's Loss

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Indiana voters sent Richard Lugar to the U.S. Senate six times, but not again this year. He lost Tuesday to Tea Party-backed state Treasurer Richard Mourdock. Gwen Ifill, Greg Fettig of Hoosiers for a Conservative Senate and political analyst Brian Howey discuss why Lugar lost and preview the race to fill his seat in the Senate.

Target Lugar: Mayhem in Indiana

Gwen's Take

Updated: 4/13/12 10:40pm

INDIANAPOLIS -- On the morning after the season's only Indiana Senate primary debate, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock arose early and headed for a Rotary Club in suburban Noblesville. There were fewer than 20 people there, which meant there was plenty of sausage, egg and waffle casserole to go around.

The club's president announced he was stepping down as the town's top Rotarian. Then he turned to Mourdock, who is attempting to unseat 80-year-old incumbent Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and winked. "The time comes for everybody to retire," he said.