Thursday, March 13, 2014

Primarily Indiana

On May 6, 2014, there are three state primary elections.  One of these states is Indiana.  Indiana will be one of the more boring states to watch.  The only statewide elections are the Secretary of State, State Treasurer, and State Auditor.  I’ll run through the primary elections and try to predict who will win.  At the end of election and primary season, I will post my predictions to see how I did.  I’ll put them in a chart before the actual primary election.   But without further adieu, I will roll out the prediction machine.

Federal elections

Indiana’s 1st Congressional District: One of two districts held by a Democratic incumbent in Indiana.  It is the most boring primary elections in the state.  There are only two filed candidates for the district, one for each party.  So, there is no need for a prediction for this district, in primary season.

Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District: This is going to be a hotly contested election in the general election, but the primary election will not nearly be as exciting.  Incumbent Republican Jackie Walorski won the election in 2012 by less than 4,000 votes after losing the district in 2010 by less than 2,500 votes.  She is running unopposed in the primary.  The Democratic side of the primary has four candidates filed.  But really the contest will be between former Notre Dame administrator Joe Bock and former Democratic primary candidate Dan Morrison.  Bock is the front-runner and so far, has not agreed to be a part of the debate the local news station is trying to put together.  Bock has already gotten the endorsement of the mayor of South Bend.  Bock will be the heavy favorite and I expect him to win the primary with 60-70% of the vote.  Morrison is likely to get about 20-30% and the other two candidates will split the remainder of voters. Prediction: Democratic Party winner: Joe Bock

Indiana’s 3rd Congressional District: Republican Marlin Stutzman is the incumbent for this Conservative district.  He won the 2012 election with two-thirds of the vote and will easily cruise to re-election, provided he wins the primary.  It seems unlikely that the two challengers Mark William Baringer and James Mahoney III have the financial backing to make it a challenge. Mahoney is running to the left of Stutzman while it is unclear of the political leanings of Baringer.  Stutzman will survive the primary.  I would imagine that Mahoney comes in second.  Meanwhile, the Democratic primary will be deciding who they will sacrifice in a loss to Stutzman.  Justin Kuhlne is the favorite to win the Democratic nomination.  It seems like he should be able to defeat the other two challengers although it is pretty clear that he will only receive about 25-30% of the vote come November. Prediction: Republican Party winner: Marlin Stutzman Democratic Party winner: Justin Kuhlne

Indiana's 4th Congressional District: This is another boring one as Republican Todd Gokita has more than enough money to survive a primary challenge from Kevin Grant.  Grant has made it easier by saying that he will defeat Gokita without raising a cent.  Good luck with that.  The Democratic Party is a collection of people who don't stand a chance in the general election.  But it will end up being John Dale vs. Jeffrey Blaydes.  Dale has more than 5 times as many Facebook likes than Blaydes #analysis.  Prediction: Republican Party winner: Todd Gokita Democratic Party winner: John Dale

Indiana's 5th Congressional District: Incumbent Republican Susan Brooks won the election in 2012 with nearly 60% of the vote.  She seems pretty safe for re-election.  David Stockdale is trying to lead the fight for liberty against Brooks by challenging her in a primary.  Brooks favors raising the age of retirement, a non-starter politically, unless you're in House of Cards.  While his staunch defense of the 2nd Amendment will play up to some of the primary voters, I think Brooks is pretty safe.  I'd imagine that the split in the primary ends up being 55-60% Brooks.  There are three Democratic candidates vying for the nomination on the left.  Shawn Denney, Allen Davidson, and David Ford are the candidates.  Right now, Denney is the slight favorite but Davidson and Ford could easily win, as well.  Right now, it would be tough to project Denney getting more than 45% of the vote.  So, this one, I'll be re-visiting up until May 6.  Prediction: Republican Party winner: Susan Brooks Democratic Party winner: Shawn Denney, right now

Indiana's 6th Congressional district: Republican incumbent Luke Messer does not have a challenger in the primary.  This means he probably won't have much of a challenge being re-elected, as he won his district with 60% of the votes in 2012.  As for the Democratic nomination, Lane Siekman would appear to be the favorite for the nomination.  The other two candidates probably don't have the name recognition to compete with Siekman.  So, this one is easy, for now.

Indiana's 7th Congressional District: Indiana's other Congressional district that is represented by a Democrat, seems pretty safe for the incumbent.  Carson is being challenged by three candidates but none of them appear to be a serious threat.  Carson won the general election with 63% of the vote in 2012 does not appear to have a strong challenger for the general election, either.  There are 5 Republicans battling it out for the nomination.  Catherine Ping and J.D. Miniear attempted to run in 2012 but lost in the primary to Carlos May.  Wayne Harmon, Erin Magee, and Gordon Smith appear to be trailing the two front-runners.  If I was a betting man, I'd bet on Ping being the nominee this time around.  But this could be a Republican primary worth watching.

Indiana's 8th Congressional District: A competitive Congressional District in Indiana? Why I never.  Incumbent Larry Bucshon won the 2012 general election with 53% of the vote.  The Club for Growth announced that they would target Bucshon in 2014 and called him a Republican in Name Only.  Enter Andrew McNeil, who thinks America has been destroyed by enemies within.  He also calls the debt immoral.  Despite that, the Club for Growth has not backed McNeil, yet.  If they do, McNeil stands a shot in the election.  But otherwise, not really a chance.  Tom Spangler is the only Democratic candidate filed for the election.  

Indiana's 9th Congressional District: After re-districting, Republican Todd Young was helped immensely.  The Hill estimated that he was the 10th biggest beneficiary.  But another estimated found that the district was now 53% Republican.  Either way, Young was able to win the 2012 election with 55% of the vote.  Young is being primaried but it does not appear to be a very serious challenge.  He may have a problem with the general election.  Bill Bailey is probably the favorite right now for the Democratic nomination.  James McClure Jr. is the other strong challenger to the nomination.  Either one could put up at least a little fight to Young's re-election.  

I'll re-visit the prediction machine as we get closer. 

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