Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Winners And Losers

Here is my quick take on the winners and losers of yesterday's election results in Indiana.


  • Governor Mitch Daniels--He proved that a governor can tackle tough issues and help move the state in a positive direction without losing public support. His re-election margin wasn't as big as Evan Bayh's, but he has something to show for his efforts.
  • Obama Indiana campaign--Indiana witnessed an unprecedented grassroots presidential campaign put on by the Obama campaign. It paid off big on election day.
  • U.S. Rep. Mark Souder--He pulls off an impressive re-election win over a well-financed opponent who many pundits expected would prevail in a bad year for Republicans nationally.
  • Republican Attorney General candidate Greg Zoeller. He first convincingly beat an establishment-backed candidate at the state GOP convention and then eked out a victory over a better-financed Democratic candidate.
  • Marion County Democrats--The party swept all of the county-wide races by convincing margins and expanded their influence at the township level.
  • Andre Carson--He breaks through the 60% barrier his grandmother could never achieve. Until redistricting, Republicans won't waste a dime trying to beat him.


  • Indiana Democratic Party--The party never got its act together after its chosen candidate for governor lost to Jill Long Thompson and wound up losing all three statewide races. Fingers will be pointed at Thompson's campaign, but the real blame lies with the state party.
  • Indiana McCain campaign--Luke Messer made no attempt to build a statewide campaign organization to compete against the Obama juggernaut. Pro-McCain bloggers in Indiana felt that they were working alone in this state to boost the McCain-Palin ticket. It wouldn't have taken much to improve McCain's margins in the suburban counties and southern Indiana to have kept Indiana in the red state column. Messer didn't even try.
  • Linda Pence--It's not enough to think you're the smartest attorney in the room. People have got to like you a little if you want them to vote for you.
  • Marion County Republican Party--Local Republicans lost every countywide race and all three closely-contested House races. Rep. Bob Behning barely won in the supposedly Republican stronghold in the southern part of the county. Sen. Teresa Lubbers limped to victory against an under-funded Democratic opponent who couldn't even campaign for office because he was so ill.
  • Jon Elrod--He abandoned his congressional race shortly after winning the May primary to run for re-election to his state representative seat and made the same mistake he made in his losing special election race against Andre Carson. Mary Ann Sullivan pummeled him with false attacks on his record, and he never responded publicly to the false attacks. Here's a hint to my good friend Jon Elrod. A lie becomes the truth when it's repeated often enough.


straight up said...

It might behoove our mayor and GOP controlled council to start thinking about getting a new county chairman. With all the new registered voters, voting D..well..if there's a tsunami in '10 and '11, it'll be another D mayor and council.. and I think we've seen enough of that :(~

A county chairman who has the best interest of the party at heart as opposed to their employment and standing with the downtown attorney cabal. Tom Marendt and Dave Miller come to mind.

Better elect a new chairman in '09 while there is still time and a chance to maintain the majority. It can be done..look at Mitch's victory.

Anonymous said...

brilliant, particularly with linda pence; i've heard she literally kisses herself in the mirror; oh well. the only other thing is that no one is shaming the republican party quite enough to let this state go D, particularly on the coattails of perhaps the strongest governor in a generation. profound arrogance reigns supereme unfortunately w the R's in this state; we'll see how this tastes to them;

Eclecticvibe said...

LOSERS: All the Indiana counties who did not count and report votes for certified write-in candidates as required by law. Losing a race is one thing, but not even having votes counted is much worse.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I notice the paid blogger for the Indiana Democratic Party is doing exactly what I thought he would do over at Blue Indiana. Blame everything on Jill Long Thompson. Let's see, Jill Long Thompson upsets their chosen candidate in the primary despite being outspent and being trashed by the state party. The folks at the state party whack both of her knees as hard as they can as she heads out of the starting gates after the primary, then complain about how badly she did in her crippled state. Thompson made do with what she had. Daniels had an excellent record to run on and all the money he needed. She could have run a perfect campaign and done no better than a few percentage points above where she ended this campaign. The facts is that she didn't negatively impact any of their state legislative races, allowing the Dems to maintain their slim majority in the House.

Unknown said...

just wanted to come over again to your little corner of the world and laugh at you for spouting so many lies about mary ann sullivan. she absolutely clobbered jon elrod. maybe he'll find something else to run for soon.

also- to my libertarian friend ed a.- who spent a little too much time criticizing other candidates (successful) tactics- instead or trying to get himself elected. hopefully you aren't too embarrassed. sometimes newcomers win, and sometimes they don't. oh well.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I think JLT did impact other races. If she would have been a competitive candidate, I think the D's statewide candidates would have won and picked up more seats in the House.

I'm not sure though it is JLT that should be blamed as much as the Democratic State Committee which blew the opportunity to capitalize on Obama's win.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Straight Up,

A bigger problem is the advisers the Mayor has surrounded himself with. They seem uninterested in doing what is necessary for Ballard to be re-elected. I don't know that the county chairman has much of a say over changing how things are being run on the 25th floor. He should though be pointing out behind the scenes the disasterous course the Mayor is on for his own re-election in 2011.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Name one thing, Mark, I said about "No Fancy House" Sullivan that wasn't true.

Paul, if the election results demonstrate anything, it showed the willingness of the vast majority of voters to split their tickets, even in Marion County. I know a number of Democrats who would not vote for Linda Pence because they know her and don't like her. She has history with a lot of people which does not serve her well in the political arena. Dick Wood took a 2-week trip to Africa right before the election. The losses of Pence and Wood were of their own making. I think it is wrong to believe people voted against Thompson. There was no anti-vote there. It was a pro Daniels vote, pure and simple.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I think scratch votes in the AG's race were minimal. While you know Democrats who voted for Zoeller, I know plenty of Republicans who voted for Pence, not because of Pence, but because they were very unhappy with Steve Carter's performance in office and saw Zoeller as a continuation of it. (Let's not forget that, Gov. Daniels, felt so strongly about this that he actually went out and got another candidate to run against Zoeller.)

I think the small percent who actually scratched based on what they knew or thought they knew about the AG candidates was very small and they offset each other. If JLT would have ran even a decent race, the switch to the other side of the ballot on a scratch would not have happened on the second race down the ballot. She lost by over 20% points. If she's a stronger candidate, let's say she lost by 8 points instead of 20, she's certainly going to lift the AG & Superintendent candidate another point or two which is all those candidates needed.

I just don't buy there were throngs of people voting against Pence any more than I think there were throngs of people voting for Zoeller. For 95% of the voters it was a straight baseline party vote.

MissouriDemocrat said...

With a reform/change Mayor giving Rush Limbaugh Police Escorts after Colts games and appointing all the same old cronies of the GOP that have been here since Benjamin Harrison no wonder the Democrats win despite their own lack of moral, ethical and efficient minded views on government. I may be a democrat but I am not blind either. The people the Reform/Change Mayor appointed are nothing more than the people Peterson gave his confidence to.

M Theory said...

Gary, I considered helping Elrod. He never returned my call. Had he followed my advice and stayed in the State House working on property taxes instead of jumping ship for the special election, things would be very different for him now.
Also HFFT wanted to endorse Elrod, but I'll be damned if I'll endorse a candidate who won't call back. I think Elrod lost his way and that's a shame because he showed a lot of promise.