INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Democrat Joe Donnelly has thwarted the tea party's hopes in Indiana by winning the Senate seat held for 36 years by Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar.
Donnelly's victory over Republican state Treasurer Richard Mourdock caps a tumultuous year for an Indiana seat that was such a safe bet for the GOP that Democrats didn't field a candidate in 2006.
Donnelly found his opening after Mourdock defeated Lugar in May's Republican primary. But he didn't break away until a firestorm erupted over Mourdock's contention during an Oct. 23 debate that a pregnancy resulting from rape is "something God intended."
Outside groups spent millions on the race as Democrats painted Mourdock as an uncompromising tea partyer and Republicans blasted Donnelly for supporting President Barack Obama's federal health care law and other legislation.