I expect that Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard will get about 43% of the vote for re-election, with Melina Kennedy at 55%. The Libertarian will get the balance.
Republicans in 2007 won three of the four at-large seats. I don't buy the notion that those seats will always go whichever way the Mayor's race goes. Unlike the Mayor's race, the at-large positions are usually baseline votes. That spells trouble for Republicans. I fully expect that the Democrats will easily sweep all four seats. Republican at-large councilors Barb Malone and Angel Rivera have shown zero independence while in office. There is nothing to suggest they have any cross-over appeal to Democrats that would help them piece together a majority.
Although most of the close races in 2007 were Democrats prevailing over Republicans, I don't see Republicans beating any incumbent Democrats. It is just not going to be a good year for Republicans.
Currently the 25 district seats are held by Republicans 13-12. Even if the Republicans held every district, if the GOP loses the four at-large seats, the Democrats are in the majority 16-13. I expect though that the Democrats will also pick up two districts. Although she's shown some independence from the Ballard agenda which should help her, Christine Scales is still in a tough district. In 2007 she won 51.3% to 48.7%.
The next most vulnerable Republican is Mike McQuillen who upset incumbent councilor Sherron Franklin 57.8% to 42.2% in 2007. McQuillen foolishly has made no attempt to show independence in that swing district. The D's will undoubtedly hammer him with his unpopular votes for the Ballard agenda. I expect the D's to win back his seat in 2011.
Also, expect Janice McHenry (60.3% winning percentage) and Marilyn Pfisterer (61.2%), two west side Republicans, to face a barrage of direct mail linking them to unpopular votes for the Ballard administration, such as the vote to give the Pacers millions of dollars, the CIB tax increase, and the ACS parking meter contract. McHenry at least has started showing some sign of independence with her vote against Public Safety Director Frank Straub.
I also expect the Democrats to take a run at Council President Ryan Vaughn (64.7%). While his Broad Ripple-area district is probably outside the range of a successful challenge, if the Democrats put money behind a Vaughn challenge, the Republicans will undoubtedly answer by spending scarce resources to protect the consummate political insider, neglecting more competitive races.
District 14 52-48, 186 votes (Pfisterer)