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Hotline Sort: The Lugar-Mourdock Showdown Hotline Sort: The Lugar-Mourdock Showdown

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Hotline Sort: The Lugar-Mourdock Showdown

3) The financial disparity in the Utah GOP Senate race is huge: According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch raised $1.26 million during the first quarter and has $3.25 million in the bank while his main GOP challenger, former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist raised nearly $170,000 and banked $242,000. He also tapped $300,000 of his own money. This underscores the difficulty facing Liljenquist: If he makes it out of the convention to a one-on-one primary against Hatch, money will mean more, and Hatch has the significant financial advantage. 2) Today is a critical day in the race between Sen. Richard Lugar and his primary challenger, Treasurer Richard Mourdock, as the two will face off in their one and only debate. And it could come down to who is less rusty. As the Indianapolis Star points out, Lugar last debated a Republican opponent in 2000 while Mourdock's last debate came in a 1992 congressional race. We'll have a rundown of what to look out for later this morning and we'll have coverage of the debate this evening on Hotline On Call. 1) Rick Santorum suspended his presidential bid on Tuesday, all but officially ending the GOP race and cementing Mitt Romney's status as the GOP nominee. And just a day later, it feels more and more that the general election is upon us, as Crossroads GPS is spending $1.7 million on a swing state TV ad campaign against President Obama on gas prices.

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