Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly defeated Republican State Treasurer Richard Mourdock on Tuesday night to become the next senator from Indiana and likely drive a nail into the coffin of GOP hopes to retake control of the Senate.
Fox News and NBC called the race for Donnelly, who ran as a socially conservative pro-life Democrat and relentlessly characterized Mourdock as an extremist.
The result ends a close
and at times dramatic contest, which gained national attention earlier this month when Mourdock stumbled over comments regarding rape
in a televised debate.
Mourdock, who defeated longtime Sen. Dick Lugar (R) in the GOP primary, also drew criticism early in the general election for describing compromise as a process where Democrats ought to come around to the Republican worldview. He backed off that approach, but a steady campaign by the three-term Donnelly was enough to sink him.