Indiana Flips From A Blue State To A Red One

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After voting for Barack Obama in 2008, the state went for Mitt Romney Tuesday night. It also elected Republican Mike Pence as governor. There was an exception to the red tide that swept across the Hoosier state. Democrats picked up a Senate seat once held by outgoing Republican Richard Lugar.


Now, four years ago, the most surprising state on the electoral map was Indiana. That Republican-leaning state went for President Obama. Last night, Indiana returned to the Republican column for Mitt Romney, also elected a new Republican Governor, Mike Pence. But Indiana did not vote Republican for U.S. Senate. Richard Lugar, the longtime incumbent, lost a primary earlier this year, and his replacement on the Republican ticket lost last night.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports from Indianapolis.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: If you look at the presidential map of Indiana, most of it looked red and went to Mitt Romney. The same is true for the gubernatorial race. Indiana voted to replace Republican Governor Mitch Daniels with Republican Mike Pence, a Congressman.


GOVERNOR: As you governor, I pledge to work with every Hoosier, every day, until Indiana is known everywhere as the state that works.

GLINTON: But when it came to the Senate race, the tide was stopped. Democrat Joe Donnelly was the victor in the contest to replace outgoing Senator Richard Lugar. In his acceptance speech, Donnelly did what he did on the campaign trail: He mentioned Richard Lugar often, and President Obama not at all.


REPRESENTATIVE JOE DONNELLY: This isn't about politics. This isn't about one party or the other. Our tradition of men and women, tremendous servants everywhere, people like Richard Lugar, who gave his heart and soul to this country in the Navy, as mayor of Indianapolis, as a senator for our state, that's the model that we have.

GLINTON: Donnelly tried hard to win over so-called Lugar Republicans, many of whom were upset when Richard Mourdock, a darling of the Tea Party, defeated the more moderate Lugar in a bitter primary.

In the last weeks of the campaign, Donnelly saw his fortunes shift. That's when Mourdock said during a debate that pregnancy resulting from rape is something, quote, "God intended." In his concession, a tearful Mourdock addressed his fellow Republicans.


RICHARD MOURDOCK: Because as I will look back on this night, over the weeks, the months, the years ahead, I will look back knowing that I was attacked for standing for my principles.

GLINTON: In the final weeks of the campaign, millions of outside dollars flooded into the race to defeat Mourdock. That money in the race against Mourdock helped narrow other Republican leads. Mourdock, though, remained defiant.


MOURDOCK: And last, but not least - though I was attacked for it, as well - make no mistake, that I stand that all life is precious in the eyes of God.

GLINTON: And Hoosiers continued their tradition of splitting their tickets.

Sonari Glinton, NPR News, Indianapolis.

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