I wrote earlier this afternoon that one of the byproducts of Rick Santorum's exit from the presidential race is a boon for Richard Mourdock's chances in the Indiana Senate primary, due to expected primary day turnout. From Murdock's perspective, there is another upshot for him: As the sun sets on the GOP presidential race, it will clear the way for his own campaign against Sen. Richard Lugar to receive more attention from the national media, something he thinks will "change this race dramatically."
"I have no doubt this [race] is going to be the focus now," Mourdock told Hotline On Call, adding that "there will be more national focus" with the GOP presidential contest fading into the background.
Mourdock said that he would be "amazed by this time next week if we aren't getting the calls to do some of the national talk shows" that he has not done.
He has a point. Aside from the presidential contest, the two highest profile electoral events (in addition to the Wisconsin recall election) coming up are the Utah GOP convention on April 21 -- where Sen. Orrin Hatch's future in the Senate will be on the line -- and the Indiana primary on May 8, which could be Lugar's last stand. Without the Pennsylvania storyline that would have been pretty ubiquitous had Santorum pressed on - 'will he lose his home state, and if so, how long can he continue' -- there is a vacuum in the national media dialogue that can be filled by Senate intrigue as spring turns to summer.