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Election Wrap-Up: Who won and who lost big

Smiling big:

Incumbents – only one incumbent got tossed by his constituents, Rep. John Ulmer (R-Goshen). He managed to capture only 25 percent of the vote in District 49.  No other incumbents were as unlucky, and indeed many of them handily crushed their opposition while others managed to eke out a victory despite strong candidates running against them (Danny Boy, I'm looking at you). Even Brent Waltz, who doesn't even live in his district according to a judge last Friday, managed to live to fight another day.

Democrats – It's a rare day in Indiana that being a Democrat is quite this exciting. In fact, if the general election had been held Tuesday, Democrats would have swept the House and even the Senate, which hasn't been in Democratic control for decades thanks to the gerrymandered districts Bob Garton so graciously drew. For example, in the District 12 seat recently vacated by Republican Sen. Marvin Riegsecker, the three Democrats together garnered 13,245 votes while the three Republicans only garnered 11,731. If this momentum carries through to the fall, Democrats will have a mandate for change unseen in recent years and the majority it takes to make it happen.

Steelworkers – They bet the farm on JLT and it paid off.  Manufacturing may be waning in Indiana, but there just might be a future for unions.

The bruised but triumphant:

Jill Long-Thompson – It was ladies' night Tuesday and JLT benefitted immensely. Although her win was predicted to be much more decisive on last week's Indiana Week in Review, she still managed to pull through. She does have a lot of work to do and she will need to support of Hoosier Democrats to privatize Mitch Daniels in November.

Hillary Clinton – A loss in Indiana would have given Obama more authority to call for her to step down. But her narrow win ensures that she'll make it to Kentucky and West Virginia where victories appear imminent. What this means for the party is tough to say, but the sooner we bring this chapter to a close and start bringing home how bad for the country four years of John McCain will be, the better off we'll all be.

Posted by (with the help of his lovely assistant)


"When November is done and over with, I hope you understand that it wasn't the "folks in Indy" who should have listened."

Man, if scientist could harness the power of your arrogance we could power the whole state. Schellinger's downfall was listening to people like you; and as long as you (and the rest of "geniuses") refuse to get that, and you continue to have any influence at any level, this party will continue to struggle.

9:24 wrote,
"Now she's up against an incumbent Governor who is a master campaigner and politician. He will use her voting record and her lifetime political career to wipe her out. "

Well he's not going to have to work even that hard if he is able to use us against ourselves. With all of the divisive bitching back and forth among the democrats that is being illustrated just here, they will smell blood in the water and thwart us at that level. Hell, issues won't even see the light of day at this rate.

I voted for Schellinger, and I said that I thought JLT wouldn't be able to beat MMM in the fall. But now that she is the nominee, I'm going to do everything that I can do to get her elected in November. I'm standing up for the issues involved.

JLT isn't going to get elected if people contributors to blogs like this are saying she's not going to get elected. DUH! What is posted on blogsites, by the authors or by readers, spreads: that's their usefulness and their power. Jen stopped by and offered a good bit of advice: Stop the in-fighting.

Focus on getting JLT elected, or let's talk abou the weather or lawn care or the Cubs. But let's not be our own worst enemy.

"the folks in Indy need to start listening more and talking less."

When November is done and over with, I hope you understand that it wasn't the "folks in Indy" who should have listened. Jim was the better candidate against Mitch, but once again the Dems (barely) chose to go with a traditional candidate who cannot win in a statewide race in Indiana. She barely won against a "no name" (to use her words) candidate who had virtually no name recognition. Now she's up against an incumbent Governor who is a master campaigner and politician. He will use her voting record and her lifetime political career to wipe her out.

"Sadly, we are stuck with Mitch for four more years."

Maybe, maybe not; it seems the only people that are certain that Jill can't beat Mitch were the ones who were sure Jill couldn't beat Jim. And that right there is the crux of the problem, the folks in Indy need to start listening more and talking less. If they spent less time telling us what political geniuses they are we'd all be a lot better off.

10:34: You need to look at the map of the election results. Schellinger carried a good majority of the "sticks" you are referring to. Gary and the crossover votes carried JLT. Yes, there are alot of people not happy with MMM, but the R's and Independents will vote to keep him instead of a candidate who will be viewed as a lifelong, same-old same-old liberal politician. Hoosiers do not and will not vote for this kind of candidate in the GE. Sadly, we are stuck with Mitch for four more years.

There seems to be a war between Democrats in the state. There are the rich Indy Democrats, those who make tons o'cash, live in homes that costs $300K+, and think the are the chosen few. These are the folks that preach public education, but send their kids to private schools. Then we have the more reality based Democrats. Those who believe in the ideals, but can't afford to send their kids to private schools and are lucky enough to be able to afford a $175K home.

"8:48 or should I say a "woe is me Democrat". Your type has been losing elections for Democrats for years. You'd rather back JLT or Vi Simpson or Richard Young or god knows what other worthless candidates. None winners."

How did that Marion County prosecutor's race turn out for you? Bart's third term really has been something hasn't it? How could it not with the huge Democratic margin on the City County Council. And of course Jim's crushing victory Tuesday was really the icing on the cake for you.

I look at it this way, Indiana we have a choice. We can continue allowing Mitch to sell off our state bit by bit. Or we can support Jill in the November election. I personally say take a chance on Jill things can't get worse.

"DITCH MITCH IN NOVEMBER, and his little dog too!

Wow. There is some real chaos around here. No new post for days and great back and forth debates. Operation Indiana Chaos seems to be a success.

8:48 or should I say a "woe is me Democrat". Your type has been losing elections for Democrats for years. You'd rather back JLT or Vi Simpson or Richard Young or god knows what other worthless candidates. None winners. Hell, you probably thought JLT was a great Senate candidate against Quayle in 86 - did she get 40%?

Lots of people didn't like Bill Clinton in the day but he got things done and was a winner. You may not like Evan Bayh but without him there would be no Democratic party in Indiana. Remember Gail Rieken - she got backed by Emily's list too. Loooo-ser! JLT running as an "anti establishment" candidate is a joke - she's the perennial candidate who can't get a real job, and has lived in DC the past 20 years.

To top things off she has a bumpkin husband who says things like "I hate politics" to newspaper reporters.

I think I'll just focus on the House races where we can at least hold on to the power base we currently have.

Petty Cash,

Jill ran the least bad campaign, is how I'd put it. Plus she has some name id from her days in Congress (15+ years ago). Schellinger could have won this thing last summer but had quite possibly the worst team in history in place. Field? Non existent, other than the unions. Anyone who thinks she won the primary because she's a good candidate or ran a good campaign is on crack. JLT will get waxed.

Were they really following Rush, or did Rush see the handwriting on the wall that people would be doing it anyway so he suggests they do it to make it look like he still has power?

I'm guessing if they were true Chaos voters, HRC would have a larger margin of victory.

Or maybe I'm just hopeful that I'm not imagining these refreshing winds of change.

"10:34, oh, so you're so in touch out in them thar parts of Indiana, you strongly support someone who was primarily funded by Emily's List, which is geared toward super pro-choice women candidates."

I got news for you, abortion isn't the main issue that drives elections anymore. Again, if you bothered to pay attention you'd notice that people are more concerned with keeping their house and their jobs then with that.

But more importantly you would have noticed we're sick of you thinking you can shove candidates down our throats because you've decided what's best for us. The total lack of effort made by Schellinger in rural areas was insulting, and if he had put any actual effort into all those counties he "visited" he'd be our candidate right now. What you need to wrap your mind around is that the rest of the state didn't reject Schellinger as much as they rejected you and the idea that only Democrats in Indianapolis should have any say.

10:34, and other Jill haters:

You completely miss the point. If she's so bad, how did your guy lose to her?

I, too, wish we'd had other gubernatorial choices. But MMM's warchest scared away the better candidates. This is what we have. Grow up and support it already.

She ran the better campaign--by a nose. Jim damned near pulled it off. Neither campaign was stellar.

And the last four weeks, neither campaign could get noticed at all.

You wanted got you elect her.........look at her losing record. You have your work cut out for you.

Finished with Bayh: The Republicans don't know what is a moderate Republican. AND there is no such animal in Indiana that they would accept as their candidate.

10:34, oh, so you're so in touch out in them thar parts of Indiana, you strongly support someone who was primarily funded by Emily's List, which is geared toward super pro-choice women candidates. Good luck with that in Indiana. Plus she has an outstanding track record of losing big races. If I'm a D money person, I'm lining up to make new friends with the sitting Governor. They won't be flocking to you, Jill.

"Many of us chose to support Schelinger rather than a frumpy out of touch multiple loser who cant beat Mitch."

You might want to give some thought to who exactly is out of touch. I know Democrats in Indy like to think the rest of the state doesn't matter, and lord knows Schelling campaigned like it, but the fact of the matter is there is more of us out in the sticks then there are of you. Maybe if you spent a little more time listening to us, and a hell of a lot less time telling us how to think, your candidate would have been more successful.

Only 19% of the 265,000+ voters voted in the GOP primary. This county is probably pretty close to that should tell you of the unusual distribution of voting patterns.

Media Spy: It's going to be difficult to see the effect by looking at Indianapolis precincts. The precinct I was at (Northern Warren township) had a 90% showing of African Americans. It is usually very much lower than that. Also, in the Guv race, JLT won by a VERY slight margin, so the crossover, no matter how slight, made a huge difference difference. I also talked to some poll workers in Lawrence, Washington and Pike who say that a number of R's took a D ballot.

I need to know the exact vote totals for a specific precinct in the 7th district race...this will settle a bet....where is the best place to find seem to be able to locate specific precincts pretty quickly.

the Marion County Democratic party did not slate a candidate for governor. Many of us chose to support Schelinger rather than a frumpy out of touch multiple loser who cant beat Mitch.

Solid work, Media Spy.

Obama won the county overwhelmingly. I think he'd still have won without Chaos. But it was definitely here.

My point was: how many of those folks hung around to vote for other offices? I doubt very many did. The gubernatorial dropoff was about 18% or more--21,500 votes. Enough to have made a statewide difference, to say the least.

And, not to dredge up old points, but: I wasn't aware the Marion County Dem Party officially endorsed Schellinger. Did I miss that? I was at the slating convention, and might have missed it.

I was at four precincts Tuesday, and at all four, the Dem committeeman was pushing Schellinger along with the county slate.

Which, no one's pointed out, took a hit: Judge Brown won, and one of the slated candidates (Graves) did not.

Don't look for the kind of insight you've seen on this blog lately, anywhere in The Star. Tully's probably already off on vacation, the poor exhausted lout.

Joe Gelarden weeps. Ben Cole just shrugs his shoulders. Ed Ziegner throws back another Scotch and curses.

All from above, mind you, at the sorry state of "poliltical reporting" in the state's largest newspaper.

Vertigo and Petty Cash,
Thanks for the geography tips. Cash, I looked at the precincts you suggested: Westlane, 2nd Presbyterian, 1st Congregational and Greenbriar. Most are solid to leaning R precincts. Vast majority of ballots cast in those precincts were D ballots. And Obama WON the precincts in those polling locations by landslides ranging from 2-1 to 3-1. I also looked at some areas suggested by Vertigo in northern Washington. Same pattern. Strong GOP crossover, but Obama won. Now in solid R areas on the southside, Franklin and Perry, a spot check shows that's where Hillary got the benefit of the crossovers. You must remember that before Rush mouthed off, some Republicans were supporting Obama. (i.e. Joan SerVass, even Julie Nixon Eisenhower and William Ruckleshaus). I suspect that even if you take Black voters out of the mix in Indy, Obama still beat Hillary, even with the operation choas voters.

Media spy: look at some northern Washington twp precincts that are still in the 7th CD. Compare Carson v. Elrod numbers in March to number of Dem ballots v. Rep ballots last week.

Forgot to add this: re: Tully

If you ever, once thought he was a relevant, probing, inb-the-know columnist, read today's column. It'll remove any doubt.

Self-serving whining lazy and irrelevant.

Have a nice day.

Media Spy: hilarious swipe at Tully.

How about this: try Washington Township, middle north band of precincts, voting at Westlane, Greenbriar, First Congregational Church on Penn.,Second Presby.

For starters.

11:01am. If you want the media to investigate the effects of crossover R voting, you have to give some evidence. What precinct are you talking about? If you don't want to be too specific and if the polling place had multiple precincts give all the precinct numbers. Then us media types (not lazy one like Tully) can look into this.

Ain't this site great? I had no idea of the persistent State website problems, and now I know. Thanks, bloggers!

Still, the SOS does two things: supervise corporations and run elections. you'd think someone would thought, say, a couple of weeks ago, that their website just might get a few hits after this first-in-40-years-relevant primary. And made appropriate website alterations before, oh, a week after the primary.

But that's just me thinkin' out loud.

Todd Rokita is an idiot.


go to for the election results. It should work if you go through the Indiana Election Division rather than Todd's office.

The media, or someone, really needs to look at the primary results. I hate to give Limbaugh and R's any credit, but I believe both the Presidential and Gubernatorial candidates were not the real winners in this election. In the precinct I worked at, many of the African Americans were first time voters, and only voted for President (I say this because they were very vocal in their intentions). However, most of the Republicans (I have worked this precinct for years, and am very aware of who has always voted R in the primaries) took a Dem ballot, and voted both for Hillary and JLT (even the R Precinct committeewoman!). Some were even overheard talking about voting for JLT because the R's consider her to be the weaker candidate, and they will vote for MMM in the fall. I have since had other R's tell me that is what they did on Tuesday. Some precinct inspectors have reported that as high as one-third of the voters in their precinct who voted D were actually R's (look at the Hendricks County results). The poll books record which party each person voted in, and I believe if someone were to identify the crossover votes, the numbers would show the election results were skewed.
I am not posting this as a "sore loser", because this crossover helped one of my candidates to win and one to lose. I just believe it's enough to show that it is time for Indiana to go to a closed Primary.


The agency websites are a mess because they all had to change to have a consistent look, in other works Mitchie's mug is on every page up in the idiot corner. You know he bugs the hell out of agency people to put his face on every state publication?

My pop is a lifelong R and he took a D ballot. He's one of those who likes Rush, but he also said long before Limbaugh's campaign that he was going to take a D ballot for the first time in his life. He doesn't like Mitch. A lot of other old reactionary R farmers where we live have said the same thing. They are ashamed and embarrassed, and they don't say a lot in public real loud, but mention the little man and you can see faces turn red and steam roll out the ears. Under their breath they'll mutter and say they voted for him the last time, but never again.
Are you reading this Mitch?
I know where you can get a deal on U-Haul boxes! :-}

Most of the state's agency websites are a mess. It may have nothing to do with SOS specifically. They switch stuff, don't do stuff, and trying to update information on a specific site is a friggin' nightmare. Another fine example of MMM's streamlined and efficient government in action.

There is no good reason for the SOS to have a non-working link to primary election results five days after the election.

Waiting for certified results is not required. Most county clerks in Indiana had real-time (or very close) unofficial results on their websites.

Todd must be globe-trotting again. That office is a joke.

Yet he continually screams from the highest mountaintop: "VOTER ID! VOTER ID! STOP INDIANA ELECTION FRAUD!"

(Except, there was no evidence provided of any fraud anywhere)

Larry Conrad's soul weeps.

there were a handful of posts her per day instead of per week?

Jen passed the Bar Exam!!!!!!!

Jen I can't believe that I'm about to ask you this...please come back and run your blog.
This grade school slumber party BS being spread here now by these wannabe politico’s is tiring.
I can take your sharp tongue as long as a little intelligent wit is included. Please come back.

The Secretary of State is probably awaiting the officially certified results from the various Indiana counties. Local Election Boards have to meet and OK the numbers already seen unofficially ...

The real QUESTION is: Why on the Friday after the Tuesday election does the secretary of state's web site still have a election results link that does NOT work. Do you suppose anyone has told him or is he just unable to fix it or is he deliberately keeping it down to hide some voting trend that might harm his party.

Correction: Greg Simms did lose his primary as well. So, there was one Dem and one Rep who lost their seats.

Sorry for the error.

Ulmer wasn't the only incumbant to go down. Greg Simms also lost his primary.

You may be right. I know this: I worked at a large, two-precinct polling place: over 1350 total votes. Many, many lifelong, older Republicans took D ballots. And looked like they'd just been asked to french kiss their dog in the process.

We had extreme humidity in our polling place, so we had to help many voters insert their ballots in the scanner so they wouldn't stick. So I saw their ballots. Not eavesdropping, just helping.

There were many who voted only for Hillary.

By "many," I mean, in excess of 150.

Including the Republican judge and clerk of both precincts.

Which puzzled me.

If you multiply that quotient over the entire state, it's easy to see how Hillary's 16,800-vote margin statewide was very likely the result of this Limbaugh effort.

I hate to give that pill-popping goof credit, but I do know his show is the most-listened-to in the market, and ads on his show cost four times what they cost on other WIBC shows. And about 15 times what they cost on most other shows.

So someone is listening to him. I try to listen once a month or so. Until I drive off the road.

I completely agree that something weird happened, but I also think that those of us in politics expected it to be the case. There are so many explanations for what happened that we will never know.

Another thought is that the drop off occured because EVERYONE has heard of the Clinton/Obama race, but not everyone has heard of the Gubernatorial candidates. They may have simply dropped off because they didn't know the difference between the two. The presidential race got all of the attention here in Indiana, so it was hard for Jim and Jill to get the media attention that they normally would have. They were quite often treated as "elsewhere in politics" newslines and didn't get the headlines.

I don't know of any politico who is going to use Tuesday's numbers to decipher any real meaning of anything, except to say that we had fantastic turnout and that's what the democratic process is all about.

Ya know what, tdwblog? I think 12:08 just stumbled into a large factor previously unmentioned here or anywhere else I read--MMM or blogs:

If we believe the preliminary figures, those voting for president outnumbered the Ds voting for governor, by about 200,000--perhaps more. Our illustrious Sec. of State has a link to "2008 Primary Results" which loops back to the Indiana state government portal. Grrrrrrr......shades of Comcast Customer Service lines.

So it's difficult to confirm, but by piecing together vote totals from multiple sources, it looks something like this: please feel free to correct if these observations are not correct or based on non-facts:

If the "Operation Chaos" nutterballs (I hesitate to bring them looks like they did have an effect)voted only for Hillary, and not for governor, it did skewer the results.

I suspect that's what happened. In which case, you could make these arguments:

1. Those who voted for governor were more "true" Dems.

2. Hillary would surely have lost Indiana if not for the Chaos folks.

Please be sure we all understand one another: I'm not completely sure of these observations, but something wierd was in the wind Tuesday. That kind of ticket dropoff is rare.

Although we can argue about the necessity of primaries versus party nominating conventions, this much is sure: it's the law now. It's a closed primary for a reason.

By Indiana law, anyone who takes a party's ballot, affirms that they supported a majority of that party's candidates in the last election, or will in the next election.

Unenforceable, to be sure. But it's the law.

Save TDW: You've been complaining for weeks now, but you're still here, I'm still here, and our readership is stronger than ever. If you are really that displeased, you can do two things:

1) Stop coming here, and;
2) Start your own blog

We'll continue to keep doing what we're doing, you're free to read or leave all you want to.

Part of the problem here is that people keep comparing the presidential primary to the gubernatorial nomination battle. A number of different inferences can be made, but they are completely different situations. You don't need to use the national candidates as metaphors to explain to your readers what happened Tuesday. We understand that it was close and a tough battle for both sides. This would have been a more substantive election had the presidential race not overshadowed it (not to denigrate the importance of the presidential primary). Let's not exacerbate that effect.

Tdwblog, I don't know who you are but I hope you are not Jen. Because Jen would never make ludicrous statements like this, in fact this blog needs help bad. When Jen was in charge her posts were always had some rationale argument. I remember in 2004 when Marvin Scott put out a press release saying he received more votes in the primary than Evan Bayh... How did that work out for him?? Get a life and quit killing this blog.

Fair enough.


Petty Cash: Not everything is an offense to to you and JLT. It was under the headline of "Bruised but triumphant" and that's exactly what happened. No matter who came out of the race, Jim or Jill exhausted every avenue to get through the primary, and now they are going to have to start building from the bottom again. She had a HUGE lead in the polls going into Tuesday, and to win by .3% is definitely a bruising.

In that same token, Hillary (whom I supported) went into Tuesday with a sizeable lead, but only eked out a victory with 52% of the vote. Like Jill, she eked out a victory and they both live to continue their fight.

For what it's worth, I didn't write it either, my assistant did, so don't think that I am the only one who saw Jill eke by in the race. And it's also worth noting that my assistant voted for Jill.

tdwblog, thanks for the bakc-handed compliment. But your exact words were:

"...She does have a lot of work to do and she will need to support of Hoosier Democrats to privatize Mitch Daniels in November."

Who needed that the day after she won? How about a simple congrats? Your message seemed to me, to mirror JS's limp e-mail to supporters, which didn't offer a congratulations to JLT, either. Ditto his concession speech.

So you then pull the AI card, huh? A tad sensitive, maybe? And compmletely off-base.

"Finished With Bayh"--I must've missed something. I didn't get the letter or phone call from Evan encouraging me to support Woody Myers--quite the opposite. He stepped up big-time in the Special Election for Andre. In case you didn't notice, he didn't withdraw that endorsement in the primary, and he was, uh, a tad busy with Hillary. By my count, Evan batted .666 on the big races Tuesday, and came close to batting 1.000. I took his electoral suggestions into account, and split 2-for-1 with him. My admiration for him did not diminish--we simply disagreed on a priamry election.

Evan Bayh is far from finished anywhere. Especially here. He stood by his presidential choice during a very tough time. That's character. They were outspent 4-1, outstaffed everywhere, and still Hillary won.

How can anyone say, against those odds, that Evan Bayh's support was anything but helpful?

It defies logic.

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