After 2008 change, Indiana returns to GOP roots

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Change didn't last long in Indiana.

The state that in 2008 chose its first Democrat for president since 1964 embraced Republicans across the ballot Tuesday as voters expressed concerns about the economy, big government and the Obama administration's health care overhaul.

Republicans picked up the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Democrat Evan Bayh and two southern Indiana congressional seats that had been held by Democrats Baron Hill and Brad Ellsworth, who lost the Senate race to Dan Coats. They also appeared poised to claim a two-thirds majority in the Senate and take control of the state House of Representatives.

Even with some races undecided late Tuesday, Republicans were assured of winning at least 55 seats in the 100-member House, with at least 10 seats switched from Democratic hands to the GOP's.

The wins will give Gov. Mitch Daniels and his Republicans colleagues control over writing a new two-year state budget next year and redrawing the boundaries of Indiana's congressional and legislative districts.

Daniels actively recruited Republican candidates to challenge Democratic incumbents, with his Aiming Higher political action committee providing key financial support.

"It'll be much easier to keep the books of the state in balance and keep Indiana as virtually the only state in the black without raising taxes," Daniels said.

Republicans picked up at least three seats from Democrats in Senate races after entering the day needing only one to gain at least a two-thirds majority, and with it the power to conduct business without any Democrats present.

With Republicans controlling the governor's office and the Senate, only a 52-48 Democratic majority in the House had stood in the way of Daniels' legislative initiatives. Daniels said local government reform bills had passed the Senate only to die in the House.

"We hope that those will at least get a fair hearing over there," the governor said.

The Democratic incumbents going down to defeat included House Majority Leader Russ Stilwell, the second-in-command to outgoing Speaker Patrick Bauer of South Bend.

"We will live to fight another day," said Bauer, who won re-election comfortably.


  • Grammar
    "Second-in-comment"...????? I don't even think spell check would have missed this flub.

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  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............