Saturday, October 31, 2015

Indianapolis Election Predictions

It's time for 2015 Indianapolis election predictions:

MAYOR:  Winner Democrat Joe Hogsett (57%) over Republican Chuck Brewer (43%).

One thing that is true about Marion County politics is that Democratic candidates do substantially better when there is large turnout.  Republicans appear to be conceding the mayor's office quite likely
to not give Democratic voters any reason to go to the polls. Low turnout will favor Republicans the scores of close council races where the baseline narrowly favors Republicans.  I expect turnout to be less than 25%.  If turnout is larger than that, I believe Hogsett's vote total could approach 60%.

COUNCIL RACES:  I predict the Democrats will win a 14-11 majority.*

Months ago, I would have given the Democrats a 2-3 more seats but I am not seeing signs that the Democrats will get the turnout necessary to win some of the close districts.  I am also not seeing signs that the Democrats in those marginal Republican districts are waging aggressive campaigns targeting issues (like higher taxes and corporate welfare) that would cause Republican to crossover and vote for Democrats.  For the first time I think there is actually a chance Republicans could win the council.  I'd give it a 33% chance at this point.

Council District 1:  Winner Democrat LeRoy Robinson (60%) over Republican Brian Jones (40%)

This used to be Republican territory.  No longer.

Council District 2:  Winner Democrat Kip Tew (51%) over Republican Colleen Fanning (49%)

District 1 was drawn to be a Republican majority district.  The 2010 election results used by Republican operative David Brooks to draw the council maps had this district with a 51.98% majority.  That GOP baseline has dropped more than two points by 2014 to 49.78%.  While Fanning has gotten support from Mayor Greg Ballard and is well funded, Tew is even better funded and is a professional politician.  I have to give the edge to Tew.

Council District 3:  Winner Republican Christine Scales (49%) v. Democrat Pam Hickman (48%) and Libertarian Christopher Bowen (3%).  

This race between incumbents will probably come down to the last precinct turning its votes in.  I would guess a slightly larger margin for Scales, but I expect that Bowen will draw more votes from her than Hickman.

Council District 4:  Winner Republican Mike McQuillen (59%) v. Democrat Ray Biederman (41%)

Of the northside districts this one is the most heavily Republican.  Currently at 57.01% it's only fallen slightly from the 2010 57.37% GOP baseline numbers.

Council District 5:  Winner Republican Jeffrey Coats (58%) v. Democrat Curtis Bigbee (42%). 

In the 2012 presidential election, this district had a baseline of 50.71%.  That is typical of these northside districts which are much more Democratic during high turnout presidential elections.  But in mid-term elections, Republicans do 3-4 points better, which is a total swing of 6 to 8 points.   You can expect that in municipal elections, with even lower turnout than mid-terms, there will be an additional couple point advantage for the Republicans.

Council District 6:  Winner Democrat Frank Islas (50.5%) v. Republican Janice McHenry (49.5%)

This lower northwestside district presents a fascinating contrast. During presidential election years, it is solidly Democrat with only a 43% Republican baseline.   But when there is lower turnout, Republicans do about 8 points better.  McHenry is a tireless worker and has no doubt knocked on every door in the district.  But even with the Republican numbers shored up a bit during the remapping process, the changing demographics of the district heavily favor Democrats. The only question is how long can McHenry can survive.  If Democrats have run the right type of campaign (attacking McHenry on her consistent support for higher taxes and corporate welfare), they could easily cause enough Republicans to abandon McHenry to win the district.  I am surprised that in the past Democrats haven't made more of an effort in the district.

Council District 7:  Winner Democrat Joe Simpson (76%) v Republican Adrienne Slash (24%)

Council District 8:  Winner Democrat Monroe Gray, Jr. (75%) v. Republican Patrick Midla (25%)

Council District 9:  Winner Democrat William Oliver (83%) v. Republican Chuck Madden (17%)

Council District 10:  Winner Democrat Maggie Lewis (77%) v. Republican Terry Bible (23%)
Council District 11: Winner Democrat Vop Osili (80%) v. Republican Remington O'Guin (20%)

Council District 12:  Winner Democrat Blake Johnson (56%) v. Republican Susan Smith (42%) and Libertarian Michal Gunyon (2%)

Council District 13:  Winner Democrat Stephen Clay (81%) v. Republican Terry Miller-Penquite (19%)

Council District 14:  Winner Democrat Lekeisha Jackson (74%) v. Republican Terry Dove (26%)

Council District 15:  Winner Republican Marilyn Pfisterer (54%) v. Democrat Christopher Wall (44%) and Laurie Works (2%)

Of the 25 districts, District 15 and District 22 have the biggest swing (10%) in favor of Republicans when there is high turnout.   While the Republican baseline in midterms in District 15 is over 55% (55.85% in 2010 and 55.02 in 2014) it was only 45.3% Republican during the presidential election year of 2012.  High turnout in the municipal election is extremely unlikely so you have to give the edge to Republican Pfisterer.

Council District 16:  Winner Democrat Emily Shrock (50.5%) v. Republican Jeff Miller (49.5%).

This will probably be considered a slight upset but only because Miller is the incumbent.  The district was previously held by a Democrat, Dane Mahern who Miller defeated in 2011. While Brooks tried to shore up the Republican numbers in the formerly marginally  Democratic distrct by drawing a 51.55% GOP baseline district, (based on the 2010 midterms, the GOP baseline dropped to 49.13% by 2014.  What Miller needs to hold onto the district is really low turnout numbers from the Democrats in the district, which is entirely possible.

Council District 17:  Winner Democrat Zach Adamson (80%) v. Republican Sally Spiers (20%)

Council District 18:  Winner Republican Susan Cordi (62%) v. Democrat Eddie Barnes (38%)

Council District 19:  Winner Republican Ben Hunter (54%) v. Democrat David Ray (46%)

This eastside district has the potential to go Democratic if turnout heavily favors the Ds.  During presidential elections it is only 43.61% Republican.  But it is 9% better during lower turnout midterm elections which will much more closely resemble a municipal turnout.

Council District 20:  Winner Republican Jason Holliday (68%) v. Democrat Jon Easter (32%)

You have to give my blogger friend Jon Easter for the time and effort he has put into the campaign.  Jon would no doubt be an excellent councilor.  But the numbers favor Republicans in the district, especially during low turnout elections.

Council District 21:  Winner Democrat Frank Mascari (51%) v. Anthony Davidson (49%)

This is the only district Democrats hold which has a marginally Republican (50.75% baseline). It is also one of the few districts in which the R baseline improved, albeit slightly, from 2014 to 2010.  Mascari though is very well-known in the district and his pro-taxpayer and anti-corporate welfare should have some appeal to conservative Republicans.  Even with a low turnout, I have to give the edge to Democrats.

Council District 22:  Winner Republican Robert Lutz (55%) v. Jared Evans (45%)

District 22 is a virtual twin of District 15.  Both are based in Wayne Township and both are marginally competitive, and both 10% more Republican during low turnout midterm elections.  In the presidential election of 2012, District 22 had a 44.75 GOP baseline.  But in 2014 it went to 54.78% Republican.  Jared Evans is a talented, hardworking candidate who defeated the slated Democratic candidate in the primary.  However, he is going to have a tough time overcoming the numbers in the district to win the general election.  If he succeeds then, the Democrats will certainly win the council.

Council District 23:  Winner Republican Scott Kreider (88%) v. Libertarian Douglas McNaughton (12%).

Council District 24:  Winner (Unopposed) Republican Jack Sandlin (100%)

Council District 25:  Winner Republican Aaron Freeman (72%) v. Democrat Jeff Wheeler (26%) and Libertarian Mike Jasper (2%).

*The count has been corrected to now read 14-11 instead of 13-12.


Anonymous said...

Corrupt Republican Mayor Greg Ballard proved beyond a shadow of a doubt with his countless crony deals, his lawless Vision Fleet, and his corrupt and criminal and civil law breaking (as per City Council's General Counsel Fred Biesecker) Blue Indy monopoly rental car business that the entire Indianapolis City Council is a figurehead group whose purpose has to be to lull the people into believing they have connection to power.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Greg Ballard showed all of Marion County- and everywhere else for that matter- there is no need for City County Councilors because Emperor Mayors considering themselves far aloft of the laws we "little people" must obey will do whatever they want, the legal system be damned. Unless of course you are a "little person".

There is no reason to vote in these municipal elections. It does not matter if rich Democrat Joe Hogsett wins (and he will easily) or if the wannabe-rich Kyle Walker hand-picked Chuck Brewer wins (he will not)... nor does it matter who your Councilor is. They can do nothing when the metal hits the road as they proved with ACS, Vision Fleet, and the nefarious Blue Indy.

LamLawIndy said...

Solid predictions, Paul. I'm going to predict that McHenry & Fanning win, however. Nobody will knock on more doors than McHenry, though I wish she would oppose corporate welfare more; and the low turnout figures we're seeing from early voting will help her over the top. Fanning isn't as well funded as Tew; but she's worked hard & -- again -- may eke out a win in a liw turnout year. I'm more confident of my McHenry prediction than Fanning, but I expect both to win.

Anonymous said...

Paul, most of your assessment is sound, however I will be surprised if the Mayor margin is larger than 10%, turnout is so low. Also, on District 21 I think Mascari is in trouble. He is a notoriously bad campaigner. He has been a vocal supporter of the Clerk-Treasurer in Beech Grove that was investigated and now subject of a law suit for hostile work environment and sex discrimination. His opponent has pounded the pavement at a staggering rate, knocking on probably 10,000 doors or more. I would be surprised if Mascari knocked on 2,000. Just my two cents, but I think that one leans GOP.

Indy Rob said...

Just got a phone call from Tanya, she said she had an important message from Mayor Greg Ballard.

Then the call disconnected.

Is that the message?

Anonymous said...

Based on the numbers, I can see why you give the edge to the Democrat in Jeff Miller's district. However, many people in my Fountain Square neighborhood who would normally vote Democrat really like him. He's present at most of our neighborhood association meetings, communicates well with constituents and is an overall nice guy. He's not a conservative at all, so he shouldn't have any problems winning. I predict a healthy Miller win.

gaga said...

Are you wearing your brown paper bag?

Paul K. Ogden said...

Gaga, why? I predicted Hogsett to easily win and the D's to control the council. I got both right. It's the destination, not the route that gets there, that counts.