Republican Sen. John McCain has been unable to achieve the same Indiana fund-raising edge on his Democratic opponent that
President George W. Bush did in past elections. Bush rang up an Indiana fund-raising advantage of $1.7 million over Sen. John
Kerry in 2004, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. And his popularity in Indiana allowed
him to spend those dollars to help him campaign in other states while easily winning Indiana’s electoral
votes. But this election, Sen. Barack Obama had outraised Republican John McCain by $360,000 through the end of August, when
McCain’s decision to take public campaign funds forced him to stop raising funds directly for himself.
Obama did not take public funds, and so has continued to raise money.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jill Long Thompson promises to buoy Indiana’s slumping rural counties with a three-tiered
incentive plan. Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels has a different vision for stoking the state economy. He wants to build on Indiana’s
strengths–such as world-class research at universities–to innovate and create jobs.
Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels is building his campaign for re-election in part on another attempt to cash in a jackpot on the Hoosier Lottery. This time, he’s hedging his bet. In case leasing the Hoosier Lottery outright to a private operator is politically impossible, Daniels is exploring a major bond issue backed by its future revenue.
After Mayor Greg Ballard’s upset victory at the polls last November, local arts leaders were in a panic. They worried the
no-nonsense former Marine would put public safety on a pedestal and slash Indianapolis’ funding for cultural groups.
The topic of health care sparked the most spirited comments from business leaders interviewed by IBJ ahead of the May 6 presidential
primary. When asked whether they thought Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton would be better for business, executives in manufacturing,
exporting, computer technology, logistics and education largely demurred.
Indiana’s business community is divided in its support during this presidential election. Many Republicans are disenchanted,
which has contributed to slow contributions to their candidate, Arizona Sen. John McCain. But those looking to support Democrats
are torn this year, as the fierce competition between Clinton and Obama has made Indiana’s normally sleepy May primary a battleground.
In early 2007, many expected Marion County Republicans to punt on the chance to unseat Democratic Mayor Bart Peterson. After
all, the two-term incumbent had high approval ratings and a campaign war chest of $2.5 million. Attractive GOP candidates
willing to embrace the challenge were in short supply.
The afternoon after Greg Ballard’s shocking victory at the polls, the mood was sober at Marion County Republican headquarters.
Jubilation had given way to reality. Although mayor-elect Ballard described himself “as tired as a guy could get,” he has
no time for a break. And what the former U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant colonel will do is largely a mystery.
In the Democrats’ field of potential candidates to unseat Gov. Mitch Daniels, there are few household names. That’s why they’re
preparing to spend the next 19 months introducing you to Jim Schellinger.