Thursday, November 15, 2018

Is the Future of Hamilton County (Indiana) Republican Party Like Orange County's (California) GOP's Present?

Logo from Hamilton County Dem's Facebook Page
Orange County, California, has long been a famously Republican county.  Located between Los Angeles and San Diego, the county is home to over 3 million residents.  The wealthy residents of the county have long favored conservative Republican politics.  Orange County had not voted for a Democrat for
President since 1936, President Franklin Roosevelt's first re-election bid.  That string ended in 2016, when Donald Trump lost the county to Hillary Clinton by 5 points.

If anyone thinks Trump won't hurt the GOP brand, one only need look at the 2018 election results in Orange County.  The still concluding slow count of midterm vote, shows Democrats wiping out GOP congressional incumbents based in Orange County.  But it is not just federal candidates.  Other races in Orange County show the former Republicans now voting Democrat in scores of other races.  Low profile California Democrat statewide candidates are suddenly winning in Orange County.   The party baseline has shifted.

Indiana does not have an Orange County.  But we have a mini-Orange County: Hamilton County.  Located directly north of Indianapolis, Hamilton County is home to over 300,000 residents.  Hamilton, like Orange County, has a large number of wealthy, highly educated residents.  Republicans have held virtually every office in Hamilton County for decades.  That is about to end.

In 2016, Donald Trump ran as the most unpopular candidate on the Hamilton County GOP ballot.  It was also the first election in which the Hamilton County Democratic Party showed a pulse, fielding scores of general election challengers.  While Hamilton County Republicans won those races in 2016, it is notable that the Democratic baseline went from virtually non-existent to 30%.  

In 2018, the Hamilton County Democratic Party fielded even more candidates and did even better.  An analysis of election results show Democrats with a 40% baseline in the county.  A closer look at the election results, show scores of local Democrats knocking on the door to elected office.  For example, in the Clay (home to Carmel) Township Trustee race, the Democratic candidate received 43% of the vote.  The Democrat in Trustee Township race in Delaware Township (Fishers) also garned 43% of the vote in a race in which the Republican won by only 1,827 votes.

The 2018 midterm featured Republican Mike Braun winning by 6 points over incumbent Senator Joe Donnelly.  In 2012, Democrat Donnelly had defeated State Treasurer Richard Mourdock also by 6 points.  So Braun is clearly a more popular candidate than Mourdock was.  Yet in Hamilton County, Braun in 2018 received only 52% of the Senate vote.  Mourdock running in Hamilton County, pre-Trump, received 54%.  Braun's strategy of lashing himself to Donald Trump might have worked in rural Indiana, but clearly not in suburban Hamilton County.

At the pace the Democrats are on, it is only a few more elections before the Democrats are capturing elected office in the most populous portions of Hamilton County, Carmel and Fishers.  And it is maybe only a few more elections after that that Democrats are winning county-wide in Hamilton County.


Anonymous said...

Also the State GOP's stupid and childish vendetta against former Hamilton County GOP Chairman Charlie White has also damaged the GOP brand in Hamilton County. If you talk to people in Hamilton County many of the locals know that Charlie White was railroaded while Dick Lugar, Mitch Daniels, and Evan Bayh all got away with much worse. Gary Welsh is undoubtedly getting his revenge on the State Republicrat Establishment here in Indiana from beyond the grave!

Anonymous said...

Educated voters are rejecting the politics of hatred, apathy for the working class, and denial of scientific facts. Imagine that!

Eric Morris said...

This is refreshing if this is the result of thoughtful people realizing the corruption of one-party rule. However, if I had to bet, the growth is largely resulting from the pre-existing condition, so to speak, of people moving here attached thoughtlessly to the D party before.

leon dixon said...

The Fall meeting of the Charlie White Defense Club is tomorrow. In a phone booth in Carmel. This, according to one Richard Sutton (which may be a misnomer for some brainless twit). It appears on the Facebook posting of the Ogden TDS version of this blog entry.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Eric Morris. The “leakage” of Indy Dems to Carmel and Fishers after burning everything in the dumpster fire that is Marion County is likely the reason for the Dem spike in Hamilton County. Though if it would get rid of big spending RINOs like Jim Brainard then more power to them.

True Republican said...


You seem to be onto something.


leon dixon said... They have been stealing elections there for a long time. I suppose you could suspect some theft in Indianapolis but Carmel? This analysis of Orange County seems to be much more accurate than Paul's version.

Anonymous said...


If the democrats have been stealing elections in Orange County for a long time, than they have been doing it very slowly. It took Orange County 82 years to actually vote for a Democratic Presidential Candidate. Until the election this year the Republicans still had a strong presence in the county. Now the Orange County GOP is on life support at best. If we keep bleeding suburban voters at this rate. The GOP will be a minority party in 10 years, maybe less.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Anon 3:28,

Exactly. It's pretty absurd to ascribe GOP losses in Orange County to Democrats' cheating. No doubt there are isolated cases of voter fraud out there that happen, but the notion that they used fraud to flip thousands of votes to win those formerly GOP congressional seats in Orange County is pretty silly. What explains the difference in the results in 2018 versus other years? One thing: The erosion of GOP support in the suburbs due to the Trump effect.

leon dixon said...

How Dornan was defeated by Sanchez is the primer....illegals voting. This goes back to Buddist Nuns, Al Gore, and the Clinton Theft Machine. I'd contend that illegals voting is theft.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, Paul. BTW, Leon, I've known Rick Sutton for25 years and served under him as deputy Washington Twp Chair in Marion county. He is MOST CERTAINLY IS A NOT A BRAINLESS TWIT. From the moronic ramblings, I've seen from Mr. Dixon, Rick is genius.

gt said...

mike delph lost his state house seat to a guy who went out and knocked on doors. that's what works. btw paul, could you drop me a line, gtbear at gmail. would like your input on a possible disclaimer case like the one jim bopp did for you. robbin stewart.