Friday, May 12, 2006

Handicapping The Senate President Pro Tem Candidates

The Indiana Legislative Insight in its latest edition has the most comprehensive and well-studied analysis of the race among Senate Republicans to replace Bob Garton as Senate President Pro Tem that I've seen to date. In fact, it does such a good job it makes me more uncertain about who the likely winner will be than before I read it.

ILI analogizes the race to the 33-car race to win the Indy 500 and, while theoretically any one driver could win, everyone understands there are only a handful of cars on race day with any reasonable likelihood of success (Note that there are 33 Senate Republicans currently). One of the many aspects ILI looks at is the amount of campaign funds each of the prospective candidates had on hand at the end of last year. Often, legislators who are particularly adept at fundraising make their way into top leadership positions. Money plays a big part in any winning race. Those numbers by the prospective candidates look as follows:

Luke Kenley ($95,954)
David Long ($146,620)
Teresa Lubbers ($6,279)
Bob Meeks ($140,143)
James Merritt ($49,895)
Pat Miller ($127,492)
Brent Steele ($10,758)
Tom Weatherwax ($49,987)
Mike Young ($29,986)

Judging those numbers, Sen. David Long looks to be the leader with $146,620 and Sen. Bob Meeks comes in a close second with $140,143. Finishing not too far behind in third is Sen. Pat Miller with $127,492. Sen. Brent Steele, whose chances have been rated favorably as a top choice of the conservative bloc according to a number of observers, comes in near the bottom with only $10,758.

Will money be a deciding factor? Who knows. But if you want to see the rest of ILI's analysis, you're going to have to subscribe to the newsletter. It's well worth the read.

No comments: