Mourdock’s Chances

On May 8, Indiana Republicans will determine the fate of their longtime standard-bearer in the Senate, Dick Lugar. His opponent, state treasurer Richard Mourdock, is only seven points behind in the latest Howey/DePauw University poll, 42–35. Lugar’s showing below 50 percent suggests that Mourdock has a real chance to pull off an upset victory. Here are the three factors that could put Mourdock over the top.

Mourdock’s debate performance
The consensus among those who watched the sole debate between Lugar and Mourdock on April 11 was that, in the words of Politico’s David Catanese, it was “devoid of a clear knockout punch.” Mourdock dinged Lugar on a few points — his support for the ethanol mandate, the DREAM Act, and the New START treaty — but both candidates were civil, and the debate ended essentially in a draw.

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