Indidana GOP Senate nominee Richard Mourdock ran a blisteringly negative primary campaign against ancient Sen. Dick Lugar this spring, eventually blowing him out of the water on election day. Mourdock won by painting Lugar — a staunch conservative who voted against Obama on almost every piece of legislation — as a dreaded “moderate,” which has somehow become the dirtiest of words in the Republican politics of 2012.
But most assumed that after this victory, Mourdock would start moving to the political center, and at the very least make up with Lugar in order to woo his supporters in November.
Apparently, Mourdock did not get the Politics 101 memo:
ZIONSVILLE – In the days after Richard Mourdock’s stunning primary upset over U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar, his campaign sent a fundraising letter out to Hoosier Republicans that raised some eyebrows and had the heads of Lugarites shaking.
“Conservatives scored a tremendous victory in Indiana just a few weeks ago,” the Mourdock letter read. “Against all odds and with the establishment working day and night to defeat me, we retired a 36-year entrenched incumbent senator, who routinely betrayed conservative voters to push through some of the most radical aspects of President Obama’s agenda.”
So much for reaching out to Lugar voters and independents who might have been inclined to vote for him in the fall against Democrat nominee Joe Donnelly.
Then again, continuing to run to the far right all the way to November appears to be Mourdock’s intentional strategy. He continues to say that “bipartisanship” is the enemy in Washington, and loves comparing events like the rescue of the American auto industry to slavery and the Civil War.
And how is that playing, in a state that should be an easy win for Republicans? GOP pollster Rasmussen has Mourdock slightly up in a dead heat over Donnelly, 42 to 40.
Don’t you go compromising, ax man.