- Death of the Marion County GOP: The once great Marion County Republican Party has been struggling for awhile, but there was always hope. Yesterday that hope was extinguished. The GOP won 12 of the 25 Indianapolis city-county council seats in 2015. Yesterday, the GOP
- Marion County Supplants Lake County as Most Democratic County: Last night, incumbent Democratic Mayor Joe Hogsett won 72% of the vote versus the Republican challenger State Senator Jim Merritt's 27%. Democrats running countywide in Lake County regularly beat Republicans by 2-1 margins. While the high profile Indianapolis Mayor's race is not the best one for measuring a partisan baseline, that race along with the council races suggest Marion may now be the most Democratic-leaning county in the state. Move over Lake County.
- Hamilton County Democratic Party Scores Council Wins: The good, no great, news for the Hamilton County Democratic Party is that it won a council seat in Carmel as well as a district and at-large seat in Fishers. But the Democrats gave up the opportunity for a majority of the six person Fishers council when it fielded only one candidate in the three person at-large race. (I know this might have been part of a deliberate strategy to get the one candidate elected, but don't think there is much data to show that strategy actually works.)
- Hamilton County Democratic Party Blows Mayoral Opportunities: Looking at the 2018 numbers, I knew the Democrats could run competitive mayoral elections in Carmel and Fishers in 2019. But Hamilton County Democratic Chairman Joseph Weingarten apparently couldn't find candidates for the mayoral slots, leaving the Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard and Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness unopposed in their bids for re-election. The 2019 election results show Fadness in particular could have been beaten. In my original analysis, I forgot to consider Westfield where Republican Andy Cook was running for re-election in that city. Cook had no Democratic challenger, only a Libertarian opponent...who received an incredible 39% of the vote. Cook is, obviously, an unpopular mayor but the Democrats can't when they don't field a candidate.
- Marion County/Hamilton County Developments Could Spell Trouble for Statewide GOP Candidates: If the state's largest county (Marion) is suddenly 70% plus Democrat and the formerly state's most Republican county (Hamilton) is no longer providing huge GOP margins, can statewide Republican candidates continue to win statewide elections? Probably ... as long as rest of the Indianapolis donut counties continue to provide GOP votes. Haven't studied the results in Boone, Hendricks, Johnson, etc. yet, but my guess is their shift in the Democratic direction is much slower than Hamilton County.
- Trumpism's Damage to GOP Brand is Real: Several of my fellow Republicans warned in 2016 that if the GOP nominated such a disreputable character as Donald J. Trump, Trumpism would come to define and harm the Republican brand. That damage was on display in the 2018 election results and now once again in 2019. Possibly that damage is temporary, but my guess is it is long term and will take a generation from which to recover.
Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Indianapolis and Hamilton County Election Takeaways
Yesterday, Indiana held municipal elections across the state. Here are my thoughts on the the election results in Indianapolis (Marion County) and Hamilton County: