Monday, November 7, 2011

Ogden on Politics Releases Updated 2011 Indianapolis Election Predictions


I made predictions on the Civil Discourse Now about 10 days ago.  I am now updating my selection.  I still predict an 18-11 Democratic majority on the council, but my pick in the Mayor's race has changed.


Republican Greg Ballard defeats Democrat Melina Kennedy 51-47, with Libertarian candidate Chris Bowen receiving 2%. If Kennedy would have been willing to challenge Ballard on his unpopular support corporate welfare, the result would have been far different.

District 1

Incumbent Democrat Jose Evans wins this increasingly Democratic district over Republican Susan Blair. Libertarian Michael Bishop is also a candidate.

District 2

Incumbent Democrat Angela Mansfield wins this increasingly Democratic district over Republican challenger Anthony Simons. Libertarian Sam Goldstein (the leading all-time votegetter as a Libertarian statewide candidate) finishes third.

District 3
Council President
Ryan Vaughn

Incumbent Republican Council President Ryan Vaughn edges out Democrat Len Farber. Democrats on election night will have wished they put more resources into this district.

District 4

This is the first of four council districts held by Republicans in which the Democrats now have a majority. I predict that District 4 will go to Republican Christine Scales over Democrat Kostas Poulakidas. One thing we have learned from previous campaigns, is you never ever alter an opponent’s face on a mailing. After this election, I think we can add another one – never send out a pretend mailing from your opponent with a pretend signature. I think the backlash will carry Scales to victory.

District 5

In this, the only safe Republican seat on the northside of Indianapolis, Republican incumbent councilor Ginny Cain will win re-election over Democrat Jackie Butler and Libertarian Christopher Hodapp.

District 6

Councilor Janice McHenry
This is the second Republican-held council district in which the Democrats have a majority. In 2010, it the northwest side district was 59% Democrat. Republican Janice McHenry is a fierce door-to-door campaigner. Democrats have told me that Brett Voorhies has not run an aggressive campaign. As far as I know, Voorhies has not hit McHenry with some of her unpopular votes, pro corporate welfare votes which would have played strongly against McHenry in that economically diverse district. Still Voorhies has the name ID having run against Rep. Phil Hinkle just a year ago. Give the edge to Voorhies in this race. Libertarian Kevin Fleming is also a candidate.

District 7

Republican Sahara Williams and Libertarian Matt Stone were guests on our show, Civil Discussion Now. They are impressive candidates. However, the southern Pike and northern Wayne district is about 80% Democrat. Democrat incumbent Maggie Lewis should win easily.

District 8

While Republican challenger Stu Rhodes is a former councilor, this Center and Washington Township District is a solidly Democratic district. Democrat Monroe Gray wins re-election.

District 9

Republican Sally Spiers was a guest on Civil Discourse Now. She is a very impressive candidate. But even an impressive candidate is ultimately at the mercy of the numbers. I have to give the race to Democrat Joe Simpson to replace Democrat councilor Jackie Nytes who is leaving the council.

District 10

A solidly Democratic district, I have to give the edge to William (Duke) Oliver over Republican Barbara Holland and Libertarian Joell Palmer.

District 11

Another solidly Democratic district, Steve Tally will make a return to the Council. Republican Mike Healy and Libertarian Tom Mulcahy are his opponents.

District 12

Challenger Regina Marsh
This is the third district held by a Republican councilor in a Democratic-leaning district, in this case Mike McQuillen. The district had a 52% Democratic baseline in 2010. I thought McQuillen, who sits on the Capital Improvement Board, would have been easy target for Democrats if they were willing to go after the councilor for his pro-Ballard, corporate welfare type votes, such as the vote to give the Pacers millions of dollars and to raise taxes for the CIB. The Democratic Party though has been reluctant to take on such issues. (Probably because the Democrats would engage in the same corporate welfare policies if they were in power.)

Democrat Regina Marsh appears to be a good candidate and I believe she will prevail over McQuillen on Election Day. I do expect that this will be the closest race in the county. Shawn Sullivan is a Libertarian candidate in the district.

District 13

This Republican west side district, concentrated in Wayne Township, has just under a 60% Republican baseline. In a good Democratic year, without a Republican incumbent, the D’s could pick it up. Not this year though. Republican councilor Bob Lutz prevails in his re-election bid over Democrat Jared Evans and Libertarian Jason Sipe.

District 14

This westsdie  district is directly east of District 13 and is more competitive. In 2010, it had about a 57% Republican baseline. It is trending more Democratic, but not enough to unseat Republican incumbent Marilyn Pfisterer. I expect her to prevail by about 8-10 points over Democrat Maxine King, a former Wayne Township Small Claims Court judge.

District 15

Council Candidate Vop Osili
This is an interesting race in that it features former Secretary of State Democratic candidate Vop Osili, running against Republican A.J. Feeny-Ruiz who works for Secretary of State Charlie White. However, the heavy Democratic tilt of the downtown district prevents it from being competitive, regardless of who are the candidates. Vop Osili wins easily. Libertarian Zach Capehart is also on the ballot.

District 16

I had previously misidentified this as a safe seat, i.e. one where the party in power had more than a 60% baseline. Actually this district, held by Brian Mahern, is only 58% Democratic. In a good Republican year, the GOP might have a shot at picking up the district. Brian Mahern though is popular in his district and one of the smartest members of the council. He should coast to a second term over his Republican opponent Bill Bruten.

District 17

This district is just outside the range of being competitive, having a 60% plus Democratic baseline in 2010. Democrat Mary Moriarity-Adams should win easily over Gary Whitmore.

District 18

Democrat councilor Vernon Brown easily wins re-election over Republican Mike Heady in this strong Democratic district.

District 19
Brian Mahern
This district gives Republicans the most hope to knock off an incumbent. District 19 had a 52% Republican baseline in 2010. It’s one one of the few areas of the county (southern portion of Center Township) trending more Republican. However, Dane Mahern is the incumbent and the Mahern name is big in Indianapolis. I expect that Dane Mahern will win in a close election over Republican Jeff Miller.

District 20

I am shocked as to why the Democrats didn’t put resources into this district which has only a 55% Republican baseline. Republican councilor Susie Day is far from a dynamic candidate and Democrat Frank Mascari is well known as a long time businessman in Beech Grove and narrowly lost a race for Mayor of Beech Grove in 2010. I think it could have been a fairly easy pickup for the Democrats put resources into the race. (According to the last report, Mascari had only raised $700, which he had personally contributed to the campaign.) The fact this race was not targeted shows to me that Democratic chairman Ed Treacy would rather have a smaller majority on the council, rather than a larger majority who might have members willing to oppose the county chairman.

I expect Republican Councilor Susie Day to win re-election in a fairly close race.

District 21

This is another district which the Democrats had an outside chance of picking up, especially if the right type of race was run, a campaign which exposed unpopular votes by the incumbent Republican councilor Ben Hunter. The eastside district is just about 55% Republican and has been trending more Democratic over the years. Yet the Democrats appear to have chosen to not contest it with their nominee attorney Todd Woodmansee. Libertarian blogger Josh Featherstone is also a candidate in the district.

District 22

This Decatur Township district is held by Republican councilor Bob Cockrum who is not running for re-election. It is nearly a 70% Republican district though. Long-time Decatur Township officeholder Jason Holliday should prevail easily over Democrat Doug White.

District 23

Councilor Jeff Cardwell
The Democrats have a very active candidate in the person of Scott Coxey. But well-funded Republican councilor Jeff Cardwell should easily win this 67% Republican district over Coxey and Libertarian Kent Raquet. Someone should be asking why precious Republican resources are being spent in this safe Republican district.

District 24

This has been one of the more interesting races. Republican Jack Sandlin, whose became so unpopular as Township Trustee, that he in 2010 was booted out by Perry Township GOP voters, was elected in a vote of precinct committeemen to fill a council vacancy on the south side. Sandlin is being opposed by former Republican and now Libertarian at-large councilor Ed Coleman who has decided to try to win the southside council district rather than run at-large. While in my hear there is nothing I would like more than an independent-minded councilor liking Coleman actually asking tough questions on the council for a change, I just thing the power of the two party system is too strong. I have to give the edge to Sandlin.

District 25

This Franklin Township council district is the most Republican council district in the county. I expect incumbent Aaron Freeman to easily prevail over Democrat Mario Garza and Libertarian Kevin Vail.

At Large (4 elected)

At-Large Candidate
Zach Adamson
This is a crowded field. Republicans have two incumbents Angel Rivera and Barb Malone. The GOP ticket also features Michael Kalscheur and Jackie Cissell. The Democrats’ at-large candidates do not feature an incumbent: Zach Adamson, John Barth, Pam Hickman, and LeRoy Robinson. The Libertarians also have four candidates: the well-known Bill Levin, Reid Miller, Sherri Meinert and Patrick Cully.

In 2007, Republicans won three of these four at-large races. (One at-large candidate, Ed Coleman changed party affiliation from Republican to Libertarian.) That was an extremely unusual result. I don’t buy for a second that these at-large races will automatically track the Mayor’s race. They are baseline races and reflect turnout not necessarily the Mayor’s race. (It’s just that in the past, the result of the Mayor’s race has normally tracked which party had a majority in the county.) I don’t expect that the Democrats miserable turnout of 2007 to be repeated.

Libertarian At-Large
Candidate Bill Levin
Female candidates tend to do better in these low profile races that have a long listing of candidates. I expect Barb Malone to run at the top of the field along with Angel Rivera who has raised and spent money in the race. I also expect that Libertarian Bill Levin will more than triple the vote of the next closest Libertarian at-large candidate. But I don’t see Levin pulling from one side more than the other. Given there are four candidates and voters do not have to cast a ballot for four, it’s hard to gauge how these races will go.

Nonetheless, at the end of the day, these are baseline races. I expect as the evening drags on, the Democrats lead among these four at-large races will grow larger and larger. If the Republicans win any of the at-large races, I’d be shocked.

Final Result

Republican Mayor, with an 18-11 Democratic majority on the Council. The Democrats are going to wish they pushed harder to unseat Republican councilors (such as Vaughn, Hunter, Day and Pfisterer) because they were well within striking distance of a veto-proof majority (20 votes.), which would have been useful with a Republican Mayor.


Ed Adams said...

I think this is going to be more of a Republican year than you think. While all politics is local, national trending does effect local party politics. National trending is of zero help to the Democrats this year. Also, there is no anti-incumbent surge as there was in 2007. A swing to 18-11 on the Council seems a bit extreme, but we'll see tomorrow!

M Theory said...

Monroe Gray (district 8) is my counselor.

He would win if they trotted him in dead like Bernie.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of brain dead sheep in that district who vote democrat without a clue as to what is really going on.

Monroe Gray is a complete waste of space as a city councilor.

artfuggins said...

I generally agree with you but I think the final council count will be 19 Ds and 10 Rs.

guy77money said...

Paul do you think Zach Adamson will pull out a at large bid due to being at the top of the ballot. Per your post this summer it never hurts to have your last name start with A. I hope he gets a win he seems to be against the corporate welfare system that has taken over Indy politics.

Blog Admin said...

Looking over the primary results, the top four vote getters for At-Large council on the Dem ticket were (in order) Joanne Sanders, Leroy Robinson, John Barth, and Adamson. Pat Andrews and Sherrod Franklin came in distant 5th and 6ths.

I'm sure it helps, but it doesn't necessarily mean you'll get first or second.

Then again, general elections are a different ballgame than primaries.

Ben said...

Guy, from the very little that I know about election stuff the first name on the ballot can be worth as much as 5 points in a general election.

you don't want to be one of the guys in the middle.

The last name can be worth as much as opts

Here ya go:

The only R CCC candidate that has a chance is Angel.

Biggest margins: 15 and 23

Closest race:4

Biggest upset: 24

CCC 17-12 D

Ballard by 5 points