Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Silver Lining For GOP In 7th District Special Election

The Wall Street Journal's "Political Diary" found a silver lining in the outcome of yesterday's special election in the 7th congressional district for the GOP:

Republicans did better than expected in last night's special election to fill the House seat vacated by the death of Democratic Rep. Julia Carson of Indiana. Her Indianapolis district leans left -- as evidenced by John Kerry's 58% showing in 2004. But Andre Carson, the 33-year-old grandson of the deceased incumbent and a local city council member, eked out only a 54% victory, hardly a barnburner for Democrats. He now becomes the second Muslim serving in Congress. "I'm an Indy 500 Hoosier, I'm a Covered Bridge Festival Hoosier.... I just happen to be a Hoosier of the Muslim faith," he said at his victory celebration.

Defeated was Republican Jon Elrod, who will almost certainly be the GOP standard-bearer when the seat is again up for grabs in November. Mr. Elrod in 2006 pulled off the rare feat of knocking off an incumbent Democrat in the state legislature. But who will he face in November? Despite yesterday's win, the new incumbent Mr. Carson will face serious competition in the May 5 Democratic primary. State Reps. David Orentlicher and Carolene Mays, and former state Health Commissioner Woodrow Myers are all well-financed and claim Mr. Carson only won the Democratic nod for the special election by pulling strings with the local party machinery.

In any event, Mr. Elrod's showing should be of some cheer to Republicans. He performed a full four points better than the GOP "base" vote in the 2004 presidential race. That's certainly better than the seven-point loss in their base vote that Illinois Republicans suffered in surrendering the House seat of former Speaker Denny Hastert on Saturday. Clearly, the GOP has trouble heading into the fall election but the Indiana results aren't pointing to anything like a meltdown.

I guess I'm a little bit too close to the race to share this same perspective. Hat tip to Polis Politics for catching this one.


Anonymous said...

What they missed is that he received the lowest percentage of votes of any republican since the new 7th was created. An 11% victory while holding your opponent to 43% makes it hard to find a silver lining.

Anonymous said...

"In any event, Mr. Elrod's showing should be of some cheer to Republicans. He performed a full four points better than the GOP "base" vote in the 2004 presidential race."

Woohoo! We only lost by 11 points! Maybe next year, if we're extra good, we can lose by only 8 points.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Not hardly, anon 5:29. Gary Hofmeister got 39% of the vote.

Chris Worden said...

Hmmm. I know somebody who called this locally. Who was that?

Indy's Painfully Objective Political Analysis

Don't miss the boat, people.

Anonymous said...

An 11% margin of victory, in an election with 82% nonvoters, is hardly something to go crowing about.

Anonymous said...

It gets worse! Andre Carson is now one of the coveted "Super Delagates" to the Democratic National Convention and gets to have a bigger voice than the rest of We The People - who did not vote for him in selecting the Democratic nominee.
A man with vertually NO political experience is allowed to have a voice in something that important?

Anonymous said...


What kind of GOP spin is that????

Eric Dickerson lost by 7% in 2006 and Jon Elrod loses by 11% only 16 months later and the GOP is making progress???

This must be some kind of new math that Elrod's campaign wants to teach the media.

David C Roach said...

come join us for the bratwurst& beer fundrasier, for Obama, and Carson! taking bets on the first to be sworn in on the quran!
theres some red meat to throw to the jackals, and hyenas. lets watch the fur fly!
to find out what the fuss is all about, click on: for your own free really nice hardbound english/arabic quran.
you can at least read it, without having to give up your hoosier tenderloins, bacon, sausage, ham,
BBQ, or best of all:PORK FAT!
congrats to Carson. I will be a joy to see the wingnuts, and so-called christian nutjobs go just ballistic in fits of apoplexy over this one. Muslims in DC! oh no!
(i'm not anti-anybodys religion, and dont need any divine entities looking to hurl any thunderbolts, or plagues my way) just engaging in some faith-based fun- at the expense of all fundamentalist intolerant extremists- whomever they may be. bosma types, if you get my drift...giggle

Chris Worden said...

Hey, Roach,

What would I be interested in looking at the website for C.A.I.R, the California Association for Institutional Research?

As an aside, maybe you haven't heard the seventeen thousands times he's said it. Obama isn't a practicing Muslim. He's a practicing Christian.

Wilson46201 said...

Congressman André Carson was sworn in on the U.S. Constitution.

Sean Shepard said...

Sworn in on the Constitution? Now if we only we could get him (and the other politicians) to READ it.

Anonymous said...

Hey Wilson....why don't you give me the "Carson Mafia" spin job on why SIX...yeah that is right folks....SIX CENTER WARD precincts showed up to have their precincts ballots counted at 9:54 p.m.....3:54 minutes after the polls closed!

And you wonder why people have no trust of the process, when YOU and the rest of your caucus....continue to thumb your nose at rules...oh wait....Beth White and the election rules don't matter....

It doesn't take nearly four hours to get five minutes.....20 the counting site and check in...

How about we purchase secure ballot boxes with GPS so we can track the boxes on their trip to the counting site? It isn't that expensive!

How about voting centers that are secure and force you to insert your ID and prove your able to vote....!!!!

Wake up 7th got what you deserve...You let these crooks steal election after election....and come back for more....18% turnout! You should be ashamed!