Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Carmel) is retiring this year, and the polling for this now open Indianapolis suburban district is swinging like a yo-yo. In late June, the GBAO research group released a surprising survey that gave Democratic nominee Christina Hale, a former state Representative and the 2018 Lt. Governor nominee, a surprising six-point, 51-45%, lead over state Sen. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville) in a traditionally Republican district.
Now, we see very different surveys entering the public domain. WPA Intelligence released their poll (8/4-6; 400 IN-5 likely voters) that reported a more traditional spread in this district when considering the electorate’s Republican voting history. The WPA result gave Sen. Spartz a 47-40% advantage. On its heels, however, Tulchin Research released their survey taken during a similar period (8/5-10; 400 IN-5 likely voters) that produced the exact opposite result: Hale leading 50-45%. Obviously, this open seat race will draw considerable attention in the closing weeks.
At the end of June, the GBAO research organization released a survey (6/25-28; 500 IN-5 likely voters) that found Democratic former state Representative Christina Hale topping Republican state Senator Victoria Spartz by a 51-45% count in an open central Indiana district that should again vote Republican.
Now, a new WPA Intelligence poll (8/4-6; 400 IN-5 likely voters) sees the opposite result. According to the WPA data, Sen. Spartz, a Ukrainian immigrant, holds a 47-40% advantage. The latter numbers are more consistent with the district’s voting history.
Indiana has an interesting quirk in its nomination process in that the political parties nominate candidates for Attorney General through convention, even while the gubernatorial ticket is decided through a primary election. The remaining state constitutional offices are not on the ballot until 2022.
Attorney General Curtis Hill (R) has been controversial since being accused of groping various women, allegations that later led to the state Supreme Court ruling he had committed criminal battery. Though no formal criminal charges have been brought, the Indiana Justices suspended Mr. Hill’s law license for a month.
As a result of the acts and bad publicity, former Congressman and ex-US Senate candidate Todd Rokita defeated Mr. Hill 52-48% in the party convention mail vote, the results of which were released Friday. Mr. Rokita now advances into the general election against former Evansville Mayor and frequent statewide candidate Jonathan Weinzapfel who won the Democratic nomination. The former Congressman is favored to complete his political comeback in the general election.
Last night’s primary election results played out as expected. The two gubernatorial candidates, Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and Democratic former Health Commissioner Woody Myers, were unopposed in their respective primaries. Gov. Holcomb is a solid favorite for re-election.
In the open 1st Congressional District, North Township Trustee Frank Mrvan won the Democratic primary and will replace retiring Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-Merrillville/Gary) in November. A total of 14 candidates competed for the Democratic nomination in what is one of two safe Hoosier State Democratic seats. Rep. Visclosky had endorsed Mr. Mrvan as his successor. The general election now is a mere formality.
In the open 5th District, state Sen. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville) scored a strong Republican primary victory overcoming a wave of negative attack ads lodged against her. She will face former state Representative and 2016 Lt. Governor nominee Christina Hale in the general election. The seat is Republican, but Democrats look to compete for the seat in November. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Carmel) is retiring after four terms.
A total of 24 states will host nomination elections in June, ten of which are postponed from earlier dates. Tomorrow is the biggest day, with ten states holding elections. Eight will vote in their presidential primaries (Iowa and Idaho held their presidential nominating votes earlier in the year).
June 2nd hosts regular state primaries on their originally scheduled date in Iowa, Montana, New Mexico, and South Dakota. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has postponed the presidential and state primary to July 7th, thus opting out of its traditional early June nomination date because of Coronavirus precautions.
A presidential stand-alone event is occurring in Rhode Island tomorrow, necessary since their regular state primary is scheduled as one of the latest in the country on September 15th. Postponed state primaries from earlier in the year are happening in the District of Columbia, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
Going into tomorrow’s Indiana primary, both Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) and former state Health Commissioner Woody Myers (D) are unopposed for their respective Republican and Democratic parties’ nomination, but a new poll suggests the general election campaign isn’t at all competitive.
A BK Strategies survey (5/20-21; 600 IN likely general election voters) finds Gov. Holcomb, boasting a 79:15% favorable to unfavorable rating, and jumping off to a 43-point lead over Mr. Myers, who is virtually unknown to the statewide electorate. According to the BK Strategies results, Gov. Holcomb enjoys a 64-21% lead with only 18% saying they know enough about Mr. Myers to form an opinion.
The Indiana state Supreme Court recently suspended Republican Attorney General Curtis Hill’s law license because the court concluded that the AG committed criminal battery. In response, former US Rep. Todd Rokita (R), who lost the 2018 Republican Senate primary to now-Senator Mike Braun (R), announced yesterday that he is considering entering the Republican nominating convention, scheduled for June 20th, to challenge Mr. Hill for the party nomination. He said the party cannot risk “losing the seat and giving it to a liberal Democrat with Curtis Hill on the ballot."
The office is up for election this November. Currently running against Mr. Hill are Republicans Nate Harter, the Decatur County Prosecutor, and attorney John Westercamp. State Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage) and former Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel are competing for the Democratic nomination.
In an increasing pattern occurring around the country, voting rights group activists have filed a lawsuit in Indiana state court petitioning the judiciary to extend the no-excuse absentee ballot ruling now in effect for the June 2nd primary to the general election. This is one more example of how the COVID-19 situation may influence long term changes in the laws and rules that govern America’s electorate.
The Change Research organization conducted a rare poll of the Indiana electorate (4/10-13; 1,021 IN likely voters) and the results find first-term Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) in strong position against former Indiana Health Commissioner Woody Myers (D). The totals find Gov. Holcomb leading Mr. Myers, 45-25%, with Libertarian Donald Rainwater capturing 8% support.
The Indiana primary is not until June 2nd, but the gubernatorial race is already set. Mr. Myers is unopposed for the Democratic nomination, while Gov. Holcomb faces only token Republican primary opposition.
Three more states are joining the popular trend of keeping their primary dates intact but changing to an all-mail system. The Alaska state Senate unanimously voted to stay with their August 18th state primary as scheduled but will instead conduct the election through the mail. An amendment to allow non-postal receptacle ballot depositing was defeated, however. The change to a mail system in response to COVID-19 precautions is expected to be adopted.
The Indiana Election Commission has agreed to waive the requirement to produce a reason for voting an absentee ballot after it moved the state’s May 5th primary to June 2nd. For this election, any voter who wants to vote through the mail can do so.
Nebraska election officials are continuing with their May 12th election but will allow counties to send mail ballots to their residents.
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