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But to lawmakers who value working across the aisle, Mr. Lugar’s departure from the Senate bodes ill.

It’s likely to further slim the ranks of Republicans willing to work with the other side, after Mr. Mourdock made clear that if elected, he has no intention of compromising his views on taxes and spending in Washington.

Mr. Lugar said that mindset is slowly killing the Republican Party.

“If Mr. Mourdock is elected, I want him to be a good senator,” he said. “But that will require him to revise his stated goal of bringing more partisanship to Washington. He and I share many positions, but his embrace of an unrelenting partisan mindset is irreconcilable with my philosophy of governance and my experience of what brings results for Hoosiers in the Senate.”