Indiana isn’t one of those states that people watch that often. Most people expect it to go Republican, and that is that. I remember when I was a kid, watching the 1988 Presidential Election returns, and Indiana was the first state to be projected for George Bush. Of course, Dan Quayle was from there as well.
But 2008 changed all of that. If any state had to be a surprise for the Obama campaign, it had to be Indiana, even more so than North Carolina or Virginia. But even with electoral success last election (mostly lead because of large turnout in Lake County, which is in the Central Time zone), things don’t look good this year.
First of all, the Democrats are going to lose the Senate race. Evan Bayh is not seeking another term as Senator. Former US Senator Dan Coats is coming back to Indiana to run for his old seat. He is expected to crush Congressman Brad Ellsworth. While Ellsworth is a conservative Democrat (one of the most conservative), the Coats campaign have successfully been able to label him as a liberal. I sure didn’t see that one coming.
Still, while the Senate race is expected to be a snoozer on election night, there are a few Congressional races to keep your eyes on. In the 2nd Congressional District, Joe Donnelly, a moderate Democrat, looks to hold off Republican State Representative Jackie Walorski. Walorski is trying to use Donnelly’s vote on TARP, the stimulus package and the health care reform bill against him. Still, it doesn’t seem to be working.
There isn’t any real accurate polling in this race, but we expect Donnelly to win by at least five points. We aren’t doing any predictions for percentages as the polling is way off.
The other big race in the state is down south where Congressman Baron Hill, who always seems to be holding on to his seat by a thread, is taking on Republican attorney Todd Young. Like the other Congressional race, there really hasn’t been any decent polling done in this district. Still, of the two Republican polls conducted, Hill is leading. But these polls were taken nearly 5 months ago, and are therefore inaccurate.
Even with the polls not being accurate, it seems that momentum is moving in Todd Young’s direction. Therefore, we expect Todd Young to come away with the victory in this race. Still, Hill always seems to find a way to win. We just don’t see it this time around.
Like Indiana, Iowa doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention when it comes to their local political. Yes, every four years we are glued to the television waiting for the caucus returns to come in for the Presidential election. But after that, we almost always forget about Iowa.
But don’t worry, Iowa isn’t expected to be to exciting this year.
First, Democrats are expected to lose the governorship. Former Governor Terry Branstad is destroying current Governor Chet Culver in almost every poll. This race will be called early and for the Republican.
In the U.S. Senate, Chuck Grassley will win again, as usual.
In the Congressional races, there are some that are close. Iowa’s 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts are held by the Democrats, and are expected to remain that way.
The only real toss-up in the state is Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District. The district includes Des Moines and most of the rural area east of the city. This is a pure battle between rural and urban votes. Whoever turns out, that will be the party that wins.
We expect the city to turn out and give current Congressman Leonard Boswell the victory over Republican Brad Zaun by a margin of 52% to 48%.