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'Red' Indiana sends Democrat to US Senate, as women fled Mourdock (+video)

US Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) defeated state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) in the Indiana Senate race, on the strength of women's votes. Mourdock's views on abortion in cases of rape created a stir.

Joe Donnelly defeats Richard Mourdock for Indiana's U.S. Senate Seat, 49 percent to 45 percent.
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Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) of Indiana triumphed in a fierce Senate campaign in Indiana that will be remembered for his Republican opponent’s inartful statement on rape.

 On a night when moderate members of Congress continued their forced exodus from Capitol Hill, Representative Donnelly, a member of the House’s dwindling caucus of moderate Democrats, beat state Treasurer Richard Mourdock 49 percent to 45 percent, with 86 percent of the vote reporting.

 “We have a tradition of Richard Lugar and Evan Bayh and people working together,” Donnelly said in a conference call with reporters late Tuesday night, “and that’s something I intend to continue to do.”

Mr. Mourdock, a favorite of conservative activists and powerful independent conservative groups that spent heavily on his behalf, was far from moderate. 

He crushed Sen. Richard Lugar (R), a longtime incumbent who frequently worked with Democrats, in the party’s primary in the late spring. But from that point, Moudock laid down one controversial statement after another, from announcing that his favorite thing was to “inflict” his opinion on other people to questioning the constitutionality of Medicare and Social Security.

And that was all before the state treasurer’s final debate with Donnelly. Asked about exceptions under which abortion would be defensible, Mourdock said, “I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."

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