This may sound crazy, but I’ve been doing some analysis lately of the new 7th Congressional District maps, and Republican Carlos May actually has a pretty good shot at pulling an upset victory over Democratic incumbent Andre Carson. No, I have been overindulging in martinis. (I actually gave up alcohol for 30 days doing the Abdul version of Ramadan.) What I have been doing is looking at the numbers and doing some extrapolation.
As you know the new 7th District was redrawn and is now basically the southern two-thirds of Marion County. So using that voter information, I based my analysis on several past elections: Mitch Daniels in 2008, Greg Ballard in 2011 and Carson’s own races in 2008 and 2010.
In 2008, Mitch Daniels beat Jill Long Thompson 55-42. He won by more than 44,000 votes and he won every township in the 7th except Center and Pike. And he loss Pike by less than 100 votes.
In 2011, Greg Ballard beat Melina Kennedy in the new 7th, 52-48. He won by a 7,500 -vote margin and won all but three townships (Center, Pike and Washington).
For Carson himself, in 2008, a very good year for Democrats and Barack Obama at the top of the ticket, he won the new 7th District 57-42, losing only the three southern townships of Decatur, Franklin and Perry. In 2010, Carson had a more narrow victory,winning 53-47, losing all three southern townships and Warren. It is worth noting in 2008, Carson beat Republican Gabrielle Campo 65-34 in the old 7th. And in 2010, he beat Marvin Scott 58-37.
This shows that there is a potential path to victory for May if he can emulate the Daniels-Ballard method of campaigning, which is running as a right of center, results-oriented, protecting taxpayers candidate. Also he would need to appeal to those Center Township voters who are not crazy about Carson. He would also have to pull enough resources to get his message out. A tall order to be sure, but a May victory in November is not out of the realm of reality.