Last night, voters went to the polls in four states: Indiana, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Below is a recap of key results from Tuesday's primaries:
• IN-Sen (R): By the end, everyone expected Treasurer Richard Mourdock to beat Sen. Dick Lugar. The only thing surprising was Mourdock's margin, a meaty 61-39. Now Mourdock will have to deal with Dem Rep. Joe Donnelly in the general election, in a race suddenly made much more competitive by his dethroning of Lugar, who had served for six terms.
• IN-02 (D): Establishment choice and Iraq vet Brendan Mullen won a narrower-than-expected 54-46 victory over Some Dude Dan Morrison. He'll face GOPer Jackie Walorski in the fall to try to hold this now-much-redder open seat for Team Blue. (Dem Rep. Joe Donnelly is running for Senate.)
• IN-05 (R): Former U.S. Attorney Susan Brooks thwarted a comeback attempt by ex-Rep. David McIntosh, who had the backing of both the Club for Growth and the Campaign for Primary Accountability. Dem state Rep. Scott Reske will try for a longshot pickup opportunity in this seat left open by GOP Rep. Dan Burton's retirement.
• IN-06 (R): Former state Rep. Luke Messer held back a big field to win the nomination with 40%. (Tea partier Travis Hankins was second with 29%.) In this dark red seat (open because Rep. Mike Pence is running for governor), Messer is a virtual lock to win in November.
• IN-08 (R): Freshman Rep. Larry Bucshon hung on in a rematch against badly underfunded teabagger Kristi Risk, but hardly in convincing fashion, winning by just 58-42. Democrats will put forth ex-state Rep. Dave Crooks in what is their best pickup opportunity in the state.
• IN-09 (D): Former Miss Indiana Shelli Yoder entered the race late but with a lot of energy, powering her to a 46-22 win over former Lee Hamilton aide Robert Winningham. (Retired Brig. Gen. Jonathan George, originally a touted recruit, took just 17%.) Yoder will square off against GOP freshman Todd Young in an uphill race.
Head below the fold for the rest.
• NC-Gov (D): The polls consistently showed Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton with the lead, and the polls were right. He prevailed over ex-Rep. Bob Etheridge by a 46-38 margin, while all other contenders were in single digits. Dalton will now go head-to-head with former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory in an attempt to keep the governor's mansion in Democratic hands. (Facing consistently negative poll numbers, Gov. Bev Perdue chose not to seek re-election.)
• NC-02 (R): Freshman Rep. Renee Ellmers won her primary against a split field of Some Dudes with just 57%, an uninspiring sum. Unfortunately, Democrats came up empty in recruitment here, though I'd bet that ex-Rep. Bob Etheridge (who lost in the gubernatorial primary—see just above) wishes he'd stuck with his original plans to seek a rematch against Ellmers.
• NC-03 (R): Rep. Walter Jones, a frequent apostate as far as the conservative movement is concerned, held off yet another primary challenge with aplomb, beating former New Bern police chief Frank Palombo 70-30.
• NC-06 (R): Octogenarian Rep. Howard Coble survived despite a recent bout of poor health and a district that's half-new to him, scraping by with 58% against two opponents.
• NC-07 (R): State Sen. David Rouzer held off Iraq vet (and accused war criminal) Ilario Pantano, 48-45. Rouzer will now try to unseat Dem Rep. Mike McIntyre in the fall.
• NC-08 (R): The race for the right to take on Dem Rep. Larry Kissell will go to a runoff. Former congressional staffer Richard Hudson earned the first spot with 33%, while dentist Scott Keadle squeezed into second place with 22%. Sadly, nutbag Vernon Robinson finished third with just 18%.
• NC-09 (R): Ex-state Sen. Robert Pittenger and Mecklenburg County Sheriff Jim Pendergraph had generally been considered the front-runners to replace GOP Rep. Sue Myrick, and both will advance to the runoff. Pittenger edged Pendergraph 33-25 in the midst of an enormous field of candidates.
• NC-10 (D): State Rep. Patsy Keever beat Asheville mayor Terry Bellamy 58-27 for the right to make a longshot bid against GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry.
• NC-11 (D & R): Hayden Rogers, chief-of-staff to retiring Rep. Heath Shuler, stiff-armed his more liberal opponent, Asheville City Councilman Cecil Bothwell, by a 56-30 margin. He'll try to hold this seat for Team Blue, but the question is, against whom? Businessman Mark Meadows looks to be just below the runoff threshold at 38%. If that holds, he'll face businessman Vance Patterson, who unexpectedly took 24% against several more prominent names, in the second round.
• NC Amendment 1: This amendment to the state constitution, which outlaws not only same-sex marriage but also civil unions, passed by a depressing 61-39 margin. That's pretty much what polling predicted, sadly.
• WI-Gov (D): Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett led all public polls of the gubernatorial recall primary, and the final result bore that out, with a 57-35 victory over former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk. Now Barrett will face GOP Gov. Scott Walker in the one-month sprint to the June general election. All four Democrats running in the state Senate recalls also held off their "fake" Democrat (i.e., Republican) opponents.