Three Key Votes Today: What To Look For In Wisconsin, Indiana, And North Carolina

Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN)

Progressives will be watching Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Indiana closely today as voters head to polls to decide three key votes.

In Wisconsin, Democrats will decide who their nominee will be to go up against Gov. Scott Walker (R) in his upcoming recall election. The party and labor organizations have been split between two candidates for much of the race, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk, though Barett is the clear favorite and more likely to beat Walker in the recall. Barrett also served five terms in the U.S. House and lost to Walker narrowly in the 2010 gubernatorial race. Falk has been more closely tied to the protest movement against Walker, however. Labor unions and other progressive activists have vowed to unite behind whoever wins in order to oust Walker on June 5.

Indiana has another key primary today, this one on the Republican side, where long-time Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) is in the fight of his political life against Tea Party-backed state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R). Most observers expect Lugar to lose today, ending his 36-year career in the Senate. A Lugar loss would likely make it easier for Democrats to pick up the seat in November, which otherwise would have been a cake walk for Republicans to hold.

And in North Carolina, voters will take on an anti-gay ballot measure that has attracted national attention and organization. Marriage equality is already banned in the state, but North Carolina Amendment One would prohibit civil unions and domestic partnerships as well, and is written so broadly that it could even imperil heterosexual couples.