As of today, we are 100 days out until Election Day. So I figured what better time to sit down and do a little political pontification and handicap the big political races here in Indiana.
Now granted, the caveat in all this is the old adage that a day in politics is a lifetime and anything can happen and it usually does. So all my predictions I am making today are based on my knowledge and experience of today. Ask me these same questions tomorrow and you might get a different answer. So with that said, let’s begin, shall we…
- While I have very little doubt that Mitt Romney will win the State of Indiana, I truly think the President will squeak out a victory. I base this decision on that fact that in places where President Barack Obama should be getting his clock cleaned, he is still running competitively in the polls. The difference is between 1-2 percentage points in places like Ohio, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia. He also has a shorter trip to make to get to 270 electoral votes than Romney. The latest polls have the President north of 300 electoral votes.
- I frankly think this will be the most interesting race to watch. Every poll taken has Republican Richard Mourdock and Democrat Joe Donnelly in a statistical tie. Donnelly’s last public polling showed the race tied and even the Mourdock camp privately admits it’s a close race. The two gentlemen are also basically neck and neck on fundraising. While Mourdock reported raising $1.7 million in the second quarter, Donnelly reported more cash on hand at $1.4 million. I’ll be watching how much money is spent by outside groups, how that drives poll numbers, do “Lugar Republicans” vote for Donnelly or do they come back home to Mourdock? Also, will the Libertarian Andy Horning pull enough votes from either candidate to ensure the other one a victory?
- As much as I like Democrat John Gregg personally, I have a soft spot for lawyers turned radio talk show hosts, I think this race is basically Mike Pence’s, another lawyer and former radio talk show host, to lose. It’s not just the money that makes me draw this conclusion; the latest reports showed Pence with $5.5 million in the bank while Greg had less than $3 million. Pence has been bombarding the airwaves, “introducing” himself to voters and defining himself before the Democrats get a chance to do it for him. In addition, Republicans have been opening “Victory Centers” across the state to make phone calls, recruit volunteers, and coordinate campaign strategy all from a regional perspective. I knew this was going the GOP way when they opened a center in Lake County the weekend of the Democratic State convention in Ft. Wayne.
The Other Statewides
- Once again, I put the odds in favor of Republican Attorney General Greg Zoeller and Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett. I base these races on past history and the fact that even in the best of Democratic years in Indiana on the Congressional level, 2006 and 2008, my Democratic friends lost every state wide race. I doubt if Democratic challengers Kay Fleming and Glenda Ritz can break those trends. Also Zoeller and Bennett have dominated their opponents in fundraising.
Now like I said, these predictions are based on today, and we have about 100 days to go before the election so anything is possible. However, I feel pretty good about them. Of course, you can always check in with me tomorrow and I may have a different answer for you.