Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) has begun talking up Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels's (R) presidential prospects to reporters back home.

But before Lugar left for the August recess, he told The Ballot Box he didn't want to push the popular governor too hard. "I don't want to intrude on his space," he said. "He's thinking things through."

Lugar continued, "I think he would be an excellent candidate. I don't want to push him beyond where he wants to go. We'll be visiting about that, too, when we’re back this summer."

Lugar has touted Daniels's popularity as a reason why the GOP will capture Sen. Evan Bayh's (D-Ind.) seat after he retires.