Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Could IN-5 change hands in 2010?

So for my first blog post this week as a guest blogger, while Jon is on hiatus, I figured that I would go out on a limb with a theory.

I think that Representative Dan Burton has more trouble than just during the primary. But, to better understand why I think this, we must first examine the special election race occurring in NY-23. In that race, there are 3 candidates, a Republican named DeDe Scozzafava, a Democrat named Bill Owens, and a Conservative Party member named Doug Hoffman. The latest poling by Siena College shows that Owens is leading the pack with 33 percent of the vote, and 16 percent undecided. The spoiler in this race is that Hoffman is garnering 23 percent of the vote, only 6 percent less than the Republican candidate. Now many will argue that this is an anomaly because the Republican is arguably the most liberal of the candidates in the race. Yet, with the way the super right-wing of the Republican party and the teabaggers are acting, they are beginning to devour their own, at a detriment to their own cause, including attacking Lindsey Graham (who isn't typically considered a moderate Republican). Many bloggers and news pundits alike are beginning to wonder if a splinter group of Republicans will break off from the party, much like Teddy Roosevelt and the Bull Moose Party did in the 1910's, but instead of being the liberal/progressive wing of the party, this new splinter group will be composed of the extreme right.

This leads us full circle back to the 2010 race in IN-5. If one of the two leading contenders against Burton chooses to drop out and the other loses a close race to Burton during the Primary, I think it is conceivable that that person will hop into the General Election race against Burton and the Democratic nominee, but as a member of an ultra conservative splinter group. If this happens, watch out because it totally changes the landscape of the game. Since 2002, the Democratic nominees have continuously gained ground on Burton with each contest. Carr, the Democratic nominee in '02, captured 25% of the vote. In '08, Ruley captured 34% of the vote. If a three way contest were to occur during the IN-5 General, it is anyone's game, especially if the Republican Primary ends in close call for Burton. This three way race could split the typical Burton votes to a near 50-50 split, and would through the Democratic nominee in the mix with the typical Democratic vote of 31-34%.

Of course, if Messer, Murphy, or McVey win the Republican nomination, then all this is null and void. Unless, Burton were to choose to pull a Lieberman too. But I will say that in a four way (or more) race during the Primary, Burton's chances of victory are much greater than in a one-on-one battle. It is safe to say that only time will tell who will emerge as the victor in this race, but watch out, because this race should be one heck of a ride!
Editor's note: Sorry about the technical diffficulties with my blog post this morning, apparently Google Chrome and Blogger don't like each other that much.


Anonymous said...

Indiana law prohibits a primary candidate from running for the same office in the general election on a different ticket. Two major differences in Indiana 05
are that it is much more R than the NY District and the republicans in the New York district are more moderate. Indiana 05 is a right wing conservative GOP district. The only change will be if it happens in the primary. The result will be the same voting record but a congressperson who is not as much of a wing nut and loonie as Dan Burton.

Jon E. Easter said...

Nice post Chris. I humbly must disagree with you, however. I think that the votes between the other candidates will cancel each other out re-nominating one Dan Burton to the seat.

It is interesting though how much money this seat is raising amongst Republicans. It is probably the best chance for a new Republican to go to Congress in any of the nine Indiana Congressional Districts.

Jon E. Easter said...

Furthermore, none of the non-Burton candidates can pull off a third-party win against Dan. He's in no trouble in that district beyond the primary. I believe it rates R+23 in the RCP ratings.

Anonymous said...

I also thought of Indiana's "sore loser law" that Anonymous referenced that prohibits someone who ran in the primary from reentering the general election as an independent. However, Chris' theory might be interesting if one of the Republican candidates pulls out prior to the primary and decides to run as a third party candidate in the general election.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you are correct. The sore loser law would not prevent someone from withdrawing before the primary and running as a third party. This must be done before the end of filing which is mid to late February......