-- Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., has entered a new phase of his reelection campaign, and no one realizes this more than he does. Treasurer Richard Mourdock has Club for Growth on his side while the Lugar residency issue has dominated headlines in the state for the past month. It's not surprising then, that we saw Lugar launch his first TV ad this week that goes after Mourdock's record.
The week wasn't all bad for Lugar, as an opinion issued by the attorney general and a ruling from the state Election Commission erased any doubts about the legality of Lugar being registered at a House he no longer owns. But the political damage has been done and opponents are not going to let up on their argument that Lugar is out of touch with the state.
-- You can tell a lot about the shape of a race from a candidate's first TV ad. Sen. Claire McCaskill's, D-Mo., first spot pushed back against Crossroads and other outside groups that have been attacking her. That's her biggest worry right now. The weak GOP field hasn't produced a candidate that has caught McCaskill's public attention yet.
-- A week removed from the arrival of a bombshell story in which a former lover accused Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu of threatening to deport him, Babeu is still standing: His campaign notes that he pulled in $14,000 in online donations in the six days since he held a press conference announcing the he is gay.
But Babeu still faces a steep uphill climb in what is a very conservative district. Further complicating matters this week: The feds are looking into a Hatch Act investigation. And Babeu will have to endure more headlines in the coming weeks about a state investigation into the allegations against him.