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Purple Haze: Cillizza Parses Indiana Poll Numbers In National Light

DonkeyphantThe WashPo's Chris Cillizza has a new post on his blog titled "Indiana: An Emerging Purple State?" It focuses on data from the recent Indy Star/WTHR survey, which ran the gamut from Dubya to Daniels to issues du jour:

"Those poll results are all the more striking when put in the context of Indiana's past political proclivities. The last time Indiana voted for a Democrat for president was 1964 when Lyndon Johnson drubbed Barry Goldwater, 56 percent to 44 percent. Since that time, the best any Democrat has done in the Hoosier State is 46 percent by Jimmy Carter in the 1976 presidential race. George W. Bush carried the state with 57 percent in 2000 and 60 percent in 2004.

"Despite those daunting numbers, Indiana was at the heart of Democratic gains in 2006 as three Republican incumbents -- Reps. Chris Chocola, John Hostettler and Mike Sodrel -- were all defeated for re-election.

"The question raised by those gains as well as the poll numbers cited above is whether Indiana is following the path of Virginia from a red to a purple state in federal elections. And, if Indiana is emerging as a competitive state at the presidential level, are there other states that have long been considered Republican strongholds that are moving in that direction as well?

"Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, it's important to remember that it's never prudent to put too much weight and meaning behind a single poll or a single election. Change in partisan viewpoints happens slowly and it's just as possible that 2006 was a one-time deal as that it signaled some sort of real shift in voters' attitudes toward the two parties. It's also possible that voters' discontent with Bush and the war are tied to him as an individual and that with him gone from the ballot in 2008, Republican elected officials won't be punished for voters' feeling about the former chief executive.

"Still, the poll raises interesting questions about just what the national landscape will look like in two months time when the two parties have selected their nominees. The poll also serves as a potent reminder that conventional wisdom in politics is often, but not always, right."


"George W. Bush carried the state with 57 percent in 2000 and 60 percent in 2004."

Now that is truly embarrassing.

The result of the "brain drain". Although, that doesn't necessarily mean that those leaving the state had a brain worth draining either.

On another note, if Sodrel runs again that might help turn the tide against a Republican winning in 2008 as well as a strong candidate running in the 3rd district against Souder. In addition, the Democratic candidate has a good chance to win the Governor's seat. All of that and maybe other factors may increase the odds of the Democratic presidential candidate winning Indiana. The Republican Party in Allen County is weakening. Marion County Democratic Party will need to do a better job.

Strong campaigns will need to be run by all.

If the Democratic presidential candidate have field operators in the state it may help other races down the line more than before. And it might garner more interest in the 2008 election in Indiana.

And Gary qualified hard working State Representive candidates in ALL districts.

I caution you flop-eared donks not to get too giddy with your hee-hawing. A lot can happen in a year of politics. One year ago Bart Peterson had a 75% approval rating. Now he is cleaning out his desk.

Jim Arnold did you skip English class in elementary school? Your post makes no sense.

the mitchies remind me of the peterson people

the best thing about purple is that it is neither red nor blue.

when it gets right down to it, i think that is what the biggest majority of us want.

we *are* all in this together, right?

anon 8:54...Get a life.

Jim, I have no idea what you were trying to communicate in your post at 8:47. It just did not make any sense at all. It was as if your words were mixed up. I'm not trying to be cute, I just want to know what you are trying to say.

Purple is what happens when oxygen stops feeding the brain.

I prefer blue or red as to purple.

The Democratic Party must have hard working qualified candidate in the State Representative and Senate district, raising money, door to door campaigning, attending homeowner association meetings, effective mailings, phone calls and all the while discussing the issues...just getting out the vote. As Gary commented, generating interest in the 2008 election. To win back the Governors office will take this as well as a committed organized campaign starting at the precinct level. I'll be there. A blue state on the national level? Nice but blue in the state house would be euphoria.

Politics continues to be local and each of those losses to the Republicans were specific to those districts. If Evans kids keep trying to act light they have divine right to this state they will continue to cost our party elections. You have to get out the vote like Ballard did and we didn't. If the wrong person is at the top of the ticket next year we will lose all of those seats.

When the national Democrats start coming to Indiana for anything other then cash grabs I'll get excited. But as long as all they see of this state is on the ride from the airport to downtown and back I'm going to assume this won't ever become reality.

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