Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Election News, Indiana

The Libertarians will (probably) stay on the ballot: Mike Wherry, LPIN's pick for Secretary of State, has picked up 6% of the vote at this writing, with 73% of the precincts reporting; 2% or better is all it takes for continued ready access.* One of these days, they'll reach the magic 10% mark and become a Major Party -- which I think means they'd have to run in the primaries.

Dr. Marvin Scott, not so lucky. The Mister The Honorable The Grandson Andre Carson has defeated him, 58% to 39% and will continue to be our Congressbeing from the 7th district. This is a shame but it's also a lot better showing than I expected. There's some evidence Dr. Scott drew votes away from the Libertarian entrant in that race, who came in markedly lower than most other LP candidates I have checked so far. While I dislike Mr. Carson's political stances intensely, and he's pulled a few stunts with the press that have made me like him less, he ran some of the best political ads I have seen, entirely avoiding any mud-slinging or disparaging of his opponent. Of course, that's not so hard to do when you're just about certain to win. If this contest continues to get closer, we may see more of a grapple next time around or the one after that.

Conversely, voters in the 9th have sent Baron Hill (D and not into that whole "freedom of the press" thing so much) home. Congressman Todd Young will take his place, 53% to 41%. Read 'em close, sir, that's not a mandate: do well, or don't bother to unpack.

The GOP took the 9th from the Democrats as well.

The 2nd is still too close to call -- Jackie Walorski (R) is at 47% to incumbent Joe Donnelly's (D) 48%, and perhaps its no wonder: "Both are pro-gun, pro-life, and oppose climate change legislation, though it's Donnelly who has been endorsed by the NRA..." Libertarian Mark Vogel's got 5% of the vote, enough to tip the balance; um, I'm just sayin', Joe and Jackie, could'a made a difference....

Voters have plopped down decidedly on the Zombie side in the sparkly vampire vs. undead U. S. Senate race between Brad "Dreamy" Ellsworth and Dan "I have socks older than most Congressmen" Coats. While I would far rather have the sensible and intelligent Rebecca Sink-Burris in that chair, I won't pretend for a minute that I'm sorry to see Mr. Ellsworth go. If nothing else, Mr. Coats should be well-inoculated against the kind of follow-the-leader that made the freshman Senator little more than a sure vote for Madame Speaker Pelosi.

In one State race, the Democrats didn't even bother to run anyone. Representative Cindy Noe is well-liked and (at least) sends out periodic polls asking her constituent's opinions. She did have an opponent: Libertarian Joe Hauptmann got 18% of the vote to Ms. Noe's 82%.

On the other hand, no one bothered to run against the one Democrat I usually end up voting for, John O'Hara, Constable for Washington Township. It's not that great a job, though you do get to carry a gun and drive a police car. How the constable does so is pretty much up to him, and John plays it low-key, plain clothes and an unmarked car. He lived across the street from my old house, which makes him about the only person standing for office of whom I have any personal knowledge, and he's a good guy. (What does the Constable do? Most of the heavy lifting for the township's Small Claims Court -- serving papers and such fun stuff).

There's plenty more -- a solid majority in favor of putting our property tax cap in the state Constitution, among other things; but that's as much of a round-up as I've got.

Voting was the usual pleasant reminder that some aspects our political system are still firmly in the hands of dedicated amateurs, hobbyists, really; they were doing a fine job of it, too. The process was easy, smooth and quick. Does it really change much? Ask me next week -- or next month. Or next year.

Next: turn on the TV and see how bad the big networks are whining! (Speaking of TV: Indiana results, here).
* This frees parties from the awkward process of circulating petitions, I believe one for every candidate they field. It doesn't require a huge number of signatures but it takes good shoeleather and thick skin.


Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

WRT Baron Hill, last night a friend of mine wrote: "A narrow loss a few years ago meant folks just wanted to give Mike Sodrel a try. An almost 20,000 vote loss tonight means go find something else to do with your time. Permanently."

Tam said...

I was all eager during the early vote returns.

With ~30% of precincts reporting, Dr. Scott was only three or four points back... But the gap just continued to widen as the night went on. :(