Monday, January 11, 2016

Race to Replace Retiring Coats Remains Under Radar

Senator Coats is retiring.
In 2016, voters will go to the polls to replace Dan Coats in the United States Senate, but I fear that many don't even know that race is on the ticket yet.

So far, it seems Republicans and Democrats are off picking sides for President and Governor, and that's not particularly good news for our side of the aisle in this race.

When Joe Donnelly won his seat in the Senate, the office didn't dominate the top of the ticket either.  It was a pretty even race all the way through, and Donnelly received a huge help from Richard Mourdock's remarks at the final debate.  While Mitt Romney took Indiana by a wide margin and Mike Pence won the Governor's Office, Donnelly walked off with Richard Lugar's old Senate seat after an absolutely perfect campaign.  Glenda Ritz also redefined grassroots politics en route to upsetting Tony Bennett.

Both sides have a primary fight to figure out first.  Three major Republicans are running, and they all have big names.  Todd Young and Marlin Stutzman are both sitting Indiana U.S. House Delegation members trying to move over to the Senate.  Eric Holcomb is a former Mitch Daniels staffer and party chair trying to move into elected office.  Of the three, Young seems to be the early favorite though Stutzman cannot be counted out and Holcomb could have a path to victory, too.

On the Democratic side, former U.S. Rep. Baron Hill is the frontrunner, at least in name recognition.  He's taking on John Dickerson, a very good candidate, who has spent his career dedicated to making life better for those with disabilities in Indiana.  

For Democrats, it's going to take a perfect campaign, and I think time's wasting.  The quicker our Democrats engage and get the word out about the Republicans, the better.

I just think this is one race that is going to struggle for attention in 2016.

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