Indiana Archive:

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

IN-03: What's Happening Here?

Posted by James L.

Not so long ago, the DCCC added Tom Hayhurst, the Democratic longshot challenger to Republican Mark Souder in Indiana's 3rd district to its list of Emerging Races. At the time, I was skeptical, being inclined to believe that the move was merely a recognition of Hayhurst's fairly good fundraising more than anything else. Hayhurst has raised $592k (of which $200k came from his own pockets) as of September 30th, nearly doubling what the lackadaisical Souder has raised this cycle. But in a district that delivered 68% of its vote to Bush two years ago, I figured his inclusion was meant more as a pat on the back rather than an indication that this seat was seriously in play.

I might have to change my mind, though, after I read this Hotline piece, detailing the NRCC's decision to buy $72,000 worth of ad time for Souder. That's not a large amount, but at the same time, it shouldn't be necessary for the NRCC to buy any ad time at all in a district this reliably Republican.

The NRCC is fanning their money around wide. Mighty wide, it seems, for a piece of it to end up defending their hold on IN-03.

PS: For a taste of what Hayhurst is spending his money on, here's one of his campaign commercials. It's pretty good.

Posted at 06:56 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Indiana | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

IN-02: Poll Shows Chocola in Trouble

Posted by James L.

From the South Bend Tribune (Research 2000, likely voters):

Joe Donnelly (D): 46
Chris Chocola (R-Inc.): 41
Undecided: 13
MoE: ±5%

Chocola was one of several incumbents who were facing challengers that skirted the edges of first-tier status before targeted them in a high-profile ad campaign. It looks like the campaign may have softened up Rep. Chocola enough so that Joe Donnelly is in an unusually good position at this point in the cycle.

Also of note is the generally sour mood in Indiana against Republicans in general, including several policies pushed forward by Gov. Mitch Daniels (R):

[Pollster Delair Ali] said he was also surprised at the number of people who brought up the Toll Road (7 percent) and time zone change (5 percent) as campaign issues.

“To me, it sounds like people are ticked off at Republicans in general,” Ali said.

It now looks like there are three ripe pick-up opportunities in Indiana, with Donnelly's race in IN-02 joining Brad Ellsworth's in IN-08 and Baron Hill's in IN-09.

Update: Democratic pollsters Cooper and Secrest had Donnelly up by ten points a few weeks ago. However, since that was commissioned by Democrats, my inclination is to view this Research 2000 poll as the more likely snapshot of the race. But make that the second consecutive poll showing Count Chocola in perilous territory--not good news for Indiana Republicans.

Posted at 11:03 AM in 2006 Elections - House, Indiana | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, February 17, 2006

Indiana: One Big Problem

Posted by DavidNYC

Even though Indiana's a very red state, we actually have several competitive House races brewing here. One, in Indiana's 9th CD, features a comeback by former Rep. Baron Hill, who lost by just a handful of votes in 2004. It's one of the most competitive and most-watched House races in the nation. There are also good matchups in IN-02 (Joe Donnelly) and IN-08 (Brad Ellsworth).

Unfortunately, we have a big gaping hole - right at the top of the ballot. Reader Christopher elaborates in comments:

The other somewhat sombre note on the 50-state strategy is that Indiana's filing deadline is today, and no one appears to have filed for the Senate race.

Lugar, of course, is unbeatable... barring the unforeseen. But this is February and the election isn't until November. The unforeseen occasionally happens - witness the Carnahan/Ashcroft Missouri race. With no dog at all in the race, Democrats will be unable to exploit any unexpected opportunity that might crop up later in the year.

I wish they had worked harder to twist an arm and get *somebody* signed up for the ballot. Roehmer. Hamilton. Poor old Jill Long. Kathy Davis. Joe Kernan. Graham Richards. Jonathan Weinzapfel. *Some*body.

Running as Senate cannon fodder in Indiana is no fun, but it can have its rewards - people forget, but that's how Baron Hill got his seat in Congress. He let the state party put him up against a GOP Senate incumbent, went down in flames... but then he had the name recognition to win a House seat in the next cycle.

It's a shame to see a blank that close to the top of a ballot.

Indeed. And with the filing deadline today, it looks like this big black hole is going to be unavoidable. This makes us look quite bad, and leaves Lugar free to waltz through the 2006 cycle without so much as having to put out a press release. Sigh.

UPDATE: I want to add that I think the Dems this year have done a pretty darn good recruitment job throughout the country. We have competitive races in several red states, which would not have happened without candidates like Claire McCaskill taking the plunge. That said, though, I'd rather have a candidate in Indiana than not have one.

Posted at 01:34 PM in 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, Indiana | Comments (20) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

IN-02: Donnelly Running Again

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Every seat counts, and this is good news. Joe Donnelly has officially decided to take on Republican incumbent Chris "Count" Chocola in 2006. Last year, Donnelly received 45% of the vote to 55% for Chocola despite being outspent more than 2 to 1.

Some things have changed. And Donnelly is in the sequel because of belief that voter opinions this time will favor him on issues of Iraq, Social Security, trade and where president Bush is leading the country. Those also were issues in the last race.

"I am going to run," Donnelly says. "It's just a matter of formalizing it."

He already is traveling throughout the 100-mile-long district stretching from the Michigan line to Kokomo. He has endorsements from Democratic chairmen at the district and county levels and from key labor unions. And he is raising funds.

Fundraising was the big issue for Donnelly in 2004. He was unable to raise the kind of money necessary to keep pace with Chocola was eventually left to fend for himself by the national party. Donnelly is a pretty conservative Democrat and according the National Review's Almanac of American Politics, likens himself to Tim Roemer (a bit disturbing to me). In the wake of the 2004 race, some tried to convince County Prosecutor Michael Dvorak to give it a run, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen any longer. A Libertarian candidate has siphoned votes away from Chocola the last two cycles, including 4% in 2000.

Posted at 05:46 PM in Indiana | Technorati

Friday, July 08, 2005

IN-Sen: Tim Roemer is Not Running

Posted by Bob Brigham

Indianapolis Star:

Former U.S. Rep. Tim Roemer, D-Ind., said Thursday he would not run in 2006 for the Senate against veteran U.S. Sen. Richard G. Lugar, R-Ind.

Roemer said there were many issues that needed to be dealt with, but he has four young children and should be running after them on soccer fields, not running for the Senate, he said.

Anyone, anyone?

Posted at 12:38 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Indiana | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

DCCC: Health Insurance for the Troops

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the subscription-only Hotline:

Using Memorial Day as a backdrop, the DCCC went up in 12 CDs over the weekend to pick at Republicans for opposing military benefit expansion.

John Havens, who identifies himself as a retired adjutant general in the Missouri National Guard, says in the 60-second radio spot that "thousands of brave National Guard members and reservists" serving on active duty "lose the same health insurance other soldiers can count on" when they return home. An announcer, noting that Congress recently "defeated a plan to extend health coverage to members of the Guard, the Reserves and their families," mentions a Republican who opposed the plan and asks listeners to tell the member "he owes those who serve our nation more than Memorial Day speeches. "

The spot takes issue with the members for opposing a procedural motion to H.R. 1815 that would have expanded the TRICARE insurance program to National Guard members and Reservists.

The targets?

According to a DCCC spokeswoman, the spot airing in airing this week in a "strategic buy" covering the home districts of 12 GOP lawmakers: Vito Fossella (NY 13), Sam Graves (MO 06), John Hostettler (IN 08), Tim Murphy (PA 06), Bob Ney (OH 18), Richard Pombo (CA 11), Dave Reichert (WA 08), Rick Renzi (AZ 01), Rob Simmons (CT 02), Mike Sodrel (IN 09), Charles Taylor (NC 11) and Ed Whitfield (KY 01). Different versions of the spot mention each representative by name.

These 12 Representatives should be ashamed -- our troops deserve better.

Posted at 04:33 PM in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington | Comments (2) | Technorati

Saturday, April 02, 2005

U.S. Senate "Nuclear Option" and 2006 midterm elections

Posted by Bob Brigham

Over at DailyKos, Kargo X has kickstarted a conversation on the coming "Nuclear Option" -- the Republican scheme to end the filibuster and gain absolute power.

If the GOP pushes forward with this power grab, it will force a major backlash against Republicans in the 2006 midterm elections. During the Schiavo usurpation, Bush dropped 10 pts in the time it took for Santorum to permanently tie himself to the issue.

If the GOP continues their quest for absolute power, the backlash will be severe. Already, Democrats have 12 Republican Senators (facing re-election in 2006) on record with their Social Security vote.

It has become conventional wisdom that Americans oppose the GOP plan to privatize Social Security. If the GOP moves for absolute control of the Senate while Bush forces privatization then the storyline gets a villian in a potent way. Add Tom DeLay as the public face of Republicans in Congress, a splintering of the conservative coalition, and a united Democratic Party. Together, this could result in a major restructuring of party perception in a nationalized 2006 midterm election cycle.

Senator Bill Frist (R-TN) wants to be President so he needs to protect his record. In addition, the following Republican Senators need to worry about running for re-election in 2006:

  • Senator George Allen (R-VA)*
  • Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT)*
  • Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI)*
  • Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH)
  • Senator John Ensign (R-NV)*
  • Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)*
  • Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)*
  • Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ)*
  • Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)*
  • Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN)*
  • Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)*
  • Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
  • Senator Jim Talent (R-MO)*
  • Senator Craig Thomas (R-WY)*

* Social Security: on record voting in favor of "deep benefit cuts or a massive increase in debt."

In addition, such a move would allow the following Democrats a hero vote to bolster their 2006 re-elections:

  • Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
  • Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
  • Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV)
  • Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
  • Senator Thomas Carper (D-DE)
  • Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
  • Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND)
  • Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ)
  • Senator Mark Dayton (D-MN)
  • Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
  • Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA)
  • Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI)
  • Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)
  • Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE)
  • Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)
  • Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Posted at 06:36 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Arizona, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Nuclear Option, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming | Technorati

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Vote on Social Security

Posted by Bob Brigham

Yesterday, the Senate gave the following statement an up or down vote:

"It is the sense of the Senate that Congress should reject any Social Security plan that requires deep benefit cuts or a massive increase in debt."

Here are the 12 Senators (standing for re-election in 2006) who voted for deep social security cuts and massive debt:

Allen, George VA
Burns, Conrad MT
Chafee, Lincoln RI
Ensign, John NV
Hatch, Orrin UT
Hutchison, Kay Bailey TX
Kyl, Jon AZ
Lott, Trent MS
Lugar, Richard IN
Santorum, Rick PA
Talent, Jim MO
Thomas, Craig WY

Here is the link to the vote.

Posted at 09:24 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Arizona, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming | Technorati

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