If Democrats fail to win control of the City-County Council or win the mayor's race by a
Brewer's greatest failing has been his inability to distinguish himself from his Democratic opponent. Although he's been a resident of Indianapolis for only four years and has never run for political office before, he spent much of the campaign hitching himself to Ballard's coattails and trying to connect to political insiders, while Hogsett, the insider's insider, spent the last two months of the campaign trying to cast himself as an outsider who would take on the downtown insiders.,,,Brewer's failures as a candidate I attribute to his simply not understanding the political game. Given voter disaffection with the current administration, particularly among conservatives who feel Ballard completely abandoned his 2007 promises, he should have firmly established himself as independent-minded, someone who would take the city in a different direction. Hogsett's failure I attribute to a candidate who was playing it safe, not wanting to rile the Republicans into aggressively challenging what appeared to be his inevitable election. The problem with Hogsett's strategy is that it doesn't encourage Democrats to go to the poll and may well result in Republicans winning the council.
Gary's detailed crunching of the turnout numbers and turnout's effect on results is excellent analysis. Where we differ (he predicts Republicans to win a majority on the council, while I predict the Democrats will win) is I try to account for the county trending more and more Democrat. Since the 2011 municipal elections we have had two elections (2012 and 2014) in which the GOP has not been competitive in Marion County. Evidence of that change is that while Republican operative David Brooks drew the new council districts using 2010 midterm election baselines, the 2014 election results show that in 17 of the 25 council districts the GOP baseline declined. Most of those were in competitive Republican-leaning districts.
It's not that I don't have doubts about my weekend predictions. I might be wrong on Republican councilor Janice Shattuck retaining her northwest side district which is heavily Democrat during presidential election years. I might also be wrong about Democratic councilor Frank Mascari winning his Beech Grove area district. Those predictions, and my guess that Republican councilor Jeff Miller will lose re-election in his near southside district, cause me the most concern. All three races I have breaking for Democrats. If I'm wrong on those three races, it is likely that Republicans retain control of the council.
Oh, well, election predictions are about fun and entertainment. I'm just glad people generally forget my predictions the next day. The exception is 2007, when I predicted the win by Republican Greg Ballard, GOP control of the council and that the at-large districts would be split between the Rs and Ds. (I predicted 2-2 and it was 3-1 in favor of