Thursday, November 15, 2012

Republicans Underperform in Congressional Races

Jackie Walorski
Republican Jackie Walorski was expected to simply walk away with the election in Indiana's 2nd Congressional District.

Up until Election Day, most political insiders, including me, thought the new way the 2nd was drawn created a safe seat for the GOP.  That held true all day...except when the votes started to be counted.  

It was late into the night before Walorski finally took a big enough lead to get Democratic challenger Brendan Mullen to concede the race, and it leaves one wondering if this seat, instead of the Bloody 8th, is going to become the one to watch into the future.  Walorski's closer-than-expected 49 percent to 48 percent win in the 2nd District will certainly make this a this a district that Democrats look at when they try to retake the Indiana House in 2014. 

Walorski will now be watched by every Democrat...and potentially some Republicans, too, to see what she does as the 2nd District Congresswoman.  Every vote will be analyzed.  Every statement will be dissected.  Every misstep is a potential campaign ad.

Rep. Todd Young
I would think that the new districts show some opportunities for the right Democrat in District 9 as well.  Todd Young got 56 percent of the vote against his underfunded but hardworking Democratic challenger, Shelli Yoder.  Perhaps with more money and the help from some outside groups, Tea Party Todd Young might be headed for home.  Yoder was at 43 percent of the vote.

Also cracking 40 percent was Dave Crooks in the Bloody 8th.  In fact, Crooks was at 45 percent of the vote.  Unfortunately, Larry Bucshon was at 55 percent.  The win was fairly decisive, but you get the feeling that the 8th District still is in play with a Democrat like Crooks or perhaps John Gregg and some major funding.

Nationwide, the Democrats gained seats in the House and the Senate in 2012.  Some even argue that, if many of the House Districts were not heavily gerrymandered, that Democrats would be in charge of the U.S. House.  As it stands now, Republicans will have 233 House seats.  Democrats will need 218 seats to regain control, and the race to do it started on November 7.

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