Spotlight: Indiana Primary

Thanks to Hillary’s 10 point win over Barack in the Pennsylvania primary, the spotlight is on Indiana’s primary for the first time in my short memory, or for that matter in my wife’s long memory. This is the first installment in what is going to be a lot of coverage as we lead up to the May 6th primary.

CNN’s website has a pretty good election center coverage, including a cute little breakdown of the “relevant” information regarding my state’s upcoming primary. However, there’s a lot of information that their Indiana Primary web page doesn’t cover.

Obama, from neighboring Illinois, has been endorsed by former 9/11 Commission co-chairman Lee Hamilton — an ex-U.S. representative from Indiana. Clinton — who was raised in Illinois — has won endorsement from Indiana’s popular former governor, Sen. Evan Bayh.

People here loved Evan Bayh when he was governor, and even my lifelong Republican friends from the state said that he did right by Hoosiers. Amongst Indiana’s Democrats, many of whom are of the “church-going gun owning” variety, an endorsement by Sen. Bayh carries a lot of weight. In fact, had the Democrats run a Richardson-Bayh ticket for the presidency, I would have voted for it in a heartbeat. Now, with Obama being from Chicago, there is a good change that he’ll attract the votes of a lot of people from The Region, who like to act like they’re from Chicago. Region politics run pretty blue, so Obama stands a chance to pull pretty well in that area.

Indiana’s House is narrowly controlled by Democrats who have engaged Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels in legislative battles including a proposal to privatize the state’s lottery.

A lot of those Democrats are “blue-dog” Dems. The kind that vote for the right to keep and bear arms, and are genuinely interested in protecting small business and farms. That’s not to say that there aren’t some hard left types in the Indiana House, but as my friend said “A Democrat in Indiana is a Republican in California”.

Three of Indiana’s GOP incumbents in the U.S. House lost their seats to Democrats in 2006 — an unusual turn of events for Indiana. The turnover was blamed in part on an anti-incumbency mood among voters, dissatisfaction with Republicans and the Iraq war.

That was odd, actually. I know that the rep from my district kept his seat, but Hamilton County is a pretty Republican stronghold. Off the top of my head, I want to say that one of the reps who lost their seat was from the Fort Wayne area, which is Paul Helmke’s old stomping grounds.

No Democratic presidential candidate has won Indiana since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

Very Red State. But honestly, we have two Democrat governors that I can remember, so it’s not that the Democrats don’t have people that could win Indiana, but they insist on running the hard left candidates like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I would almost guarantee that if the Democrats would run a true moderate like Evan Bayh or Bill Richardson, the Indiana vote would become a lot more complicated.

Keep it right here for plenty of Indiana primary coverage, including some special coverage podcasts and other exclusive content.


  1. hard left candidates like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton

    Obviously, you and I have very different definitions of “hard left” and “moderate”. Due in part to how the “center”, such as it is, has been skewed decidedly rightwards in the past few years.

  2. No shit, sherlock. But the fact remains that true moderates like Bill Richardson and Evan Bayh get passed over, and your party continues to run big government semi-socialist nanny-staters.

  3. …or for that matter in my wife’s long memory.

    Are you saying you’re married to an old lady? ‘Cause your photos of her make her look purty young. Not just purty young, but purty, too.

    [ducks and runs for cover]

  4. Uh…yeah, I can see how what I said could be misconstrued. What I meant was that she’s lived in Indiana a lot longer than I have, as she was born and raised here where I am originally from California.

  5. But the fact remains that true moderates like Bill Richardson and Evan Bayh get passed over, and your party continues to run big government semi-socialist nanny-staters.

    This may or may not be connected to the democratic process that selects candidates, and how the people who are always complaining about the lack of a “moderate” (for some value of moderate) candidate either don’t participate at all or don’t in sufficient numbers. It’s a democratic system, so if you want change, start working for it instead of waiting for it.

    I mean, it’s not like the head of the ACLU picks the democratic candidates who are then all funded by George Soros as they act to oppress the Christian minority. Really. I swear.

  6. I would take a more active role in it, but by the time Indiana’s primary rolls around it’s always down to the final two candidates for the Dems, and they’ve invariably been a-holes.

    The roughly same problem occurs for the Republicans.

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