Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Election Predictions: Indiana General Assembly

Indiana House of Representatives

Before the election: 51 Democrats, 49 Republicans
After the election: 59 Democrats, 41 Republicans

As is usual, the Indiana House is where most of the election excitement can be found. Republicans won 3 races by 27 votes or less in 2006. In nine races, the Republican had less than 53.5% of the vote, which translated into less than a 1200 vote margin in those 9 races. In a year that heavily favors the Democrats, Republicans with even bigger margins of victory in 2006 are vulnerable. I think it is possible the Democrats will hit 60 seats in the House.

I believe two of the Republicans seats lost will be in Marion County, and possibly a third. I definitely see the Republicans losing Buell's old district (89) and Elrod's (97). My upset of the night is the Democrats picking up Phil Hinkle's seat (92) on the westside of Indianapolis. Phil had almost 59% of the vote in 2006, a margin small enough to get caught in a tidal wave base vote for the other party. I hope I'm wrong as I've always admired Phil's outspokenness and willingness to take a stand. We need more of that in Indianapolis. I think though his fate is going to be sealed with an enormous Democrat pro-Obama vote in Marion County.

In the "Republicans who never had a chance to win in 2008" category: Elrod, Tim Harris (31), Don Lehe (15) and Chris Swatts running in Buell's old district.

I don't see the Republicans picking up any House seats held by the Democrats this year.

Indiana Senate

Before the election: 33 Republicans, 17 Democrats
After the election: 32 Republicans, 18 Democrats

Of the 25 seats up, few are competitive. I predict Republican Ed Charbonneau, who replaced state senator Victor Heinold only a year ago, will lose to Democrat Larry Balmer in this northwest district which saw huge numbers in the Democratic primary. No other races look close enough to tip the other way, though I think the results will show that the Democrats will wish they put more effort into winning Republican Mike Young's district (35) on the westside of Indianapolis.


briefs said...

These aren't predictions, they're fantasies! Ed Charbonneau will win 55-45 in NW Indiana, the unions are supporting him, he voted for HEA 1001 which is highly favored in here, and Ballmer has zero money or name recognition.

If all your predictions in these posts are this hopeful, we may just get the McCain win!

Anonymous said...

Sorry briefs, but I fear you are incorrect.

Balmer has raised and spent over $200,000 so far on this race, which is a very hefty sum and isn't far behind what Charbonneau has spent.

Charbonneau does not have support from unions, he has an endorsement from the NWI Building Trades. They agreed to endorse him but to not provide him with any assistance for his race.

He also has the ISTA endorsement, but again, no support for his race. In fact, Larry has larger ISTA support than Charbonneau, but Ed and Larry came in tied on the last ISTA district,(their Senate district encompasses 3 ISTA districts) so they endorsed the incumbent. Not exactly what I would call overwhelming support.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I suppose it's possible. I'll admit I haven't followed each of the races closely, but rather my predictions were based more on an overall view of the trend of the state.

The problem is that it was a close district four years ago during a good Republican year. This will be an excellent Democratic year. For Charbeonneau to win, I think he'd have to have a lot of scratch votes in his favor, far more than are likely. Then again, I could be wrong. I've been wrong before