Joe Donnelly Declared Winner In Indiana Senate Race

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.