Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hoosier State Will Be Red

So far this electoral season, I've predicted two 2008 Obama states to be red: Florida and North Carolina. This one has been in the red column for me for a while, but I'm now getting the time to write about it: Indiana!

Looking back at 2008, Obama won by the slimmest of margins in what is considered by many, a red state. Going county by county, Obama did very well in the urban areas (Indianapolis, Gary) and the college areas (St. Joseph's County - home of Notre Dame, Tippecanoe County - home of Perdue, and Monroe County - home of Indiana University in Blommington). While McCain won the majority of counties in Indiana, it was close in many and there were very few where he won over 65% of the vote. This allowed the gains Obama made in the urban and college counties to push Indiana into the blue column.

As he did in North Carolina, Obama hit his ceiling, has been polling poorly in the state and because of the close win, it's not likely to go his way this time around. Voters are angry about the unemployment situation in their state, as well as nationally, and clearly blame the president. Because of this, Republican counties who went for McCain in 2008 will go for Romney in 2012 by much wider margins. There are some additional factors that will help.

Gubernatorial Race: For the past two years, Mike Pence, former House GOP Conference Chair, has running for Indiana Governor, as current Republican Governor, Mitch Daniels, will be term limited out of office in 2012. Pence has been a noticeable figure around the state, is well respected, has been endorsed by Daniels, who himself is very popular and is likely to win. It is safe to say his presence down ticket will help Romney/Ryan in winning the Hoosier State.

Senate: Richard Mourdock, who upset current Republican Senator Richard Lugar, will be running against Congressman Joe Donnelly, who is vacating his Congressional Seat to run for the Senate. Candidates are currently polling close, but Mourdock has very strong TEA Party support and this will be apparent in the General Election this November, putting him over the top. TEA Party voters are very committed to the Conservative cause and to their candidate, who soundly defeated the establishment politician in the primary, and as as result, will help Romney further up the ticket.

House, 2010 and 2012: As a part of the 2010 House Tsunami, Republicans picked up seats in the 8th and 9th Congressional District. Both seats are likely to hold in 2012 and the 2nd could very well become Republican, which would add another Republican Congressman to the Indiana delegation.

Students: I do not believe students will come out as strongly in support for Obama in 2012, as they did in 2008, even with the possibility of a student loan October Surprise from Obama. They are clearly let down by this president, as well as the high unemployment numbers. This will affect the vote in St. Joseph, Tippecanoe and Monroe Counties; the locations of the major universities within the state. Without their vote, there is no way Obama can catch the votes Romney will gain within Indiana.

With the recent polling done, along with the additional factors I noted, as well as the fact the Obama campaign has all but conceded Indiana, it's safe to say he won't win the Hoosier State. Add in Indiana's 11 Electoral Votes, North Carolina's 15 Electoral Votes and Florida's 29 Electoral votes, along with a 4th definite state I will write about in the future, Mitt Romney has 239 electoral votes. Just 3-5 more states for Romney to turn red and we will have a 45th President on January 20, 2013.

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