Friday, November 7, 2008

What Happened to Wayne Township, Marion County?

Looking over the election results in some of the lower profile races, I saw something that really caught my eye. Wayne Township, one of the western townships in Marion County that has historically been a source of solid Republican majorities, came within 56 votes of losing all seven township council races. With Lisa Bentley eking out the close victory in District 6, Wayne Township now has one Republican joining six Democrats on the township board. In 2004, it was a 5-2 margin in favor of Republicans. These are baseline races which show a remarkable loss of Republican support in that township in just four years.

Here is a comparison of the Republican v. Democrat 2004 and 2008 township seats in the nine Marion County townships.

Township 2004, 2008
Center 2-5, 1-6
Decatur 7-0, 7-0
Franklin 7-0, 7-0
Lawrence 5-2, 4-3
Perry 7-0, 7-0
Pike 1-6, 0-7
Warren 3-4, 3-4
Washington 3-4, 3-4
Wayne 5-2, 1-6

So the northern six townships have gone from 19-23 split in favor of the Democrats in 2004 to a 12-30 split in 2008.

Frankly I am surprised Washington and Warren Townships have held on when the overall numbers in the township would not indicate they would. Obviously last time the Republicans did an artful gerrymandering job in those townships. As far as my fellow Republicans in Pike go, I tell them well the good news is that the Republican numbers have probably bottomed out and won't get any worse. Pike is actually per capita the third wealthiest township in Marion County though you wouldn't know it by the Democrat margin in that township.

These results also indicate how well Republican Rep. Phil Hinkle must have ran in his district on the far northwest side of the county. His district lies completely in Pike and Wayne townships which now has only one Republican out of 14 township board members in those two township.

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