Incumbent Party – Republican
Projection – Strong Republican Hold
This race will be as suspenseful as watching paint dry.
After making a decision between whether to run for President of the United States or Governor of Indiana, and declining to run for President, Mike Pence’s campaign for Governor has been moving along like a runaway train.
Pence is a perfect successor to the popular and much trusted outgoing conservative Governor, Mitch Daniels (who also had to decide whether to run for President or not). And his credential as a fiscal conservative are a perfect fit for the tracks layed down in Indian by Mitch Daniels.
As for Pence’s opponent, John Gregg, he is truly one of the more conservative members ofd the Democratic Party and the expectation was that he would fare well in a presidential election year that saw the top of the ticket not doing so well in that state. As the 23rd most conservative state in the nation, Indiana voters are 6.24% more Republican than the national average. So a flaming liberal does not have much of chance at winning statewide in the Hawkeye State. And so as an anti-gay marriage, anti-abortion Democrat, Gregg should be competetive. But he won’t be.
Unlike Pence, John Gregg does not excite people and after picking a running mate for Lt. Governor who supports gay marriage and is pro-abortion rights, Gregg undermined any of the inroads he might have been able to make with the conservative bloc of that he needs to chip away from Pence. Of course the selection of a Lt. Gov. who is ideologically different from Gregg was meant to give the Democrat base a reason to support Gregg and to send a signal to Independent voters that he will listen to all sides of all arguments. But this year, that is not message that voters are hoping to hear. This year, they want someone who is not willing to equivocate on the issues that matter to them. That is one reason why Indiana voters ditched long time Senator Dick Lugar for the more hardline, T.E.A. movement backed, conservative, Richard Mourdoch in his bid to run for the state’s U.S. Senate seat.
Perhaps in another year and against another candidate, Gregg would have fared well in a statewide contest in Indiana, but this year, and agianst this year’s particular Republican gubernatorial candidate, John Gregg will be lucky if he losses by only 6 percent becuase the potential exists here for him to lose by even more than that.