Lugar Defeat Gives Tea Party New Momentum

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Indiana Republicans have retired six-term Sen. Richard Lugar in a surprising takeover by the Tea Party.

Although Richard Mourdock doesn't claim Tea Party membership, his ousting of Lugar in Tuesday's primary was the biggest win this year by a candidate the group supports.

"This race is not about animosity, it's about ideas," Mourdock said. "It is about the direction of the Republican Party. It is about the direction of the country."

Both Mourdock and his defeated opponent were gracious after a bruising ad campaign.

"I congratulate Richard Mourdock on his victory in a hard fought race," Lugar said in his concession speech. "I hope that Richard Mourdock prevails in November so he can contribute to that Republican majority in the Senate."

CBN News Chief Political Correspondent David Brody will have more on Richard Mourdock's win and how it impacts the Tea Party. Click play for his comments from Wednesday's CBN Newswatch.

Democrats will try to tag Mourdock with a controversial Tea Party label in the General Election, but Indiana conservatives say they're ready.

"When a citizenry rises up to fight back against overwhelming odds, against the establishment and we beat one -- and not just anyone but Sen. Lugar is an icon of Washington elitism -- we knock him off and people watch," Greg Fettig, with Hoosiers for a Conservative Senate, explained.

Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett beat a union-backed primary candidate to face Gov. Scott Walker in a June 5 recall election.

"We will all be united because we understand as all of you do that we cannot fix Wisconsin as long as Scott Walker is governor of this state," Barrett said on the campaign trail.

Walker is the target of a bitter campaign from public employee unions. He was unopposed in the GOP race, but won more votes than all of the Democrats combined.

"Do we go back to the days of double-digit tax increases, of billion dollar deficits, of record job losses?" Walker asked supporters. "Or do we take the positive foundation that we've built together to move Wisconsin forward?"

For once, in this round of primaries the presidential race was almost an afterthought.

Republican candidate Mitt Romney won contests in four states, and West Virginia Democrats sent a shockingly blunt message to President Obama. Voters cast 40 percent of their primary ballots for Keith Judd, a Texas prison inmate who was listed as the president's only opposition.

Many residents who voted for the felon said they were doing so as a "vote against Obama."

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John Waage

John Waage

CBN News Sr. Editor

John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

He also analyzes the convulsive politics of the Middle East.