Monday, March 10, 2008

The Hill: Special Election Winner Shouldn't Get Comfortable

The Hill's Aaron Blake takes a look at Indiana's 7th District special election race, along with the just-concluded special election race in Illinois to fill former House Speaker Dennis Hastert's seat, which the Democrat, Bill Foster, won. Neither Foster nor tomorrow's winner in the 7th District seat should get too comfortable Blake opines. On the 7th he writes:

The winner’s lot appears particularly perilous in the district of the late Rep. Julia Carson (D-Ind.). Indianapolis City-County Councilman Andre Carson (D), who is Carson’s grandson and a heavy favorite Tuesday, would face a crowded primary just 56 days later, while Republican state Rep. Jon Elrod would face an undoubtedly tough reelection battle in a heavily Democratic district.

“Whoever wins the (special) will be very proud and likely to call themselves ‘congressman’ for the next few weeks, but that’s a pretty short-term title,” said former Indiana Health Commissioner Woody Myers, one of three big-name Democrats waiting to challenge Carson.

Blake touches on Democratic dissatisfaction with the unqualified Carson. He mentions a poll Mays' campaign commissioned, but he gets the timing wrong. He suggests she released the poll in mid-February. She in fact released it in early January right before the Democrats' slating caucus. Here's his take on the upcoming Democratic primary race:

In Indiana, party leaders selected Andre Carson in a process that left many would-be nominees unsatisfied.

State Reps. Carolene Mays and David Orentlicher, along with Myers, lead the field against Carson and have wasted no time getting started.

Mays’s campaign released a poll in mid-February suggesting Carson is not popular and faced a tough race against Elrod. Myers is planning to launch his first television ads the day after the special election and will be up on radio about a week later.

Myers said the race isn’t a marathon or a sprint, but instead more of a 440-yard dash, “which my track friends tell me is the hardest race to run, because you really have to pace yourself appropriately for that one big lap around the track.”

Whatever happens Tuesday, the winner won’t be listed as an incumbent in the primary, because Indiana does not denote incumbency on its ballots.

The Carson name is still an asset, but the late congresswoman’s grandson has been attacked for his lack of experience during his first competitive campaign. He was appointed last year to the city-county council and ran unopposed in November.

Blake had little to say about Elrod's candidacy other than to mention he was endorsed by the Star:

The Indianapolis Star endorsed Elrod by citing his superior experience. But, in doing so, it also suggested the best option might well emerge in the Democratic primary in May.

Elrod faced what were probably his best odds against Julia Carson, who died in December. The national GOP hasn’t invested much in the race, even though a Republican took 46 percent in the district in 2006.


Jon Easter said...

I agree with you. This will be an extremely difficult perhaps even uphill race for whomever that wins in the Special Election.

It will also be difficult for the person that wins in that as soon as they do, they are a member of Congress. I'm sure that all opposition will go over that Congressional Record with a fine-toothed comb to find missed votes, etc...

Anonymous said...

Anyone else notice that Wilson46201 and garyj have both been MIA?
Where are they?

Anonymous said...

Probably out voting over and over and over.......