For Lugar, who faces Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) in the primary, focus on foreign policy has become a target for opponents who charge he is not spending enough time on issues closer to home. The Lugar camp is continuing to sell his foreign policy work as important to Indiana voters. "We as an organization have worked overtime over the years to make the case to Hoosiers that Lugar's role in foreign policy is important to them," Helmke said.
If the bin Laden news brings more attention to Afghanistan and foreign policy among Indiana Republican voters, Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee could stand to gain more attention. And continuing to press Obama could help him assuage the fears of some voters that he is too close to the president.
Still, his questioning of the effort in Afghanistan isn't a popular one in Republican circles. A March 22 CBS News/New York Times poll showed that while a majority of Americans believed the U.S. should not be involved in Afghanistan, 51 percent of Republicans polled said they believed fighting the war was the right thing compared to 42 percent of Republicans who said the U.S. should not be involved.