IMPORTANT REMINDER: Indiana Chamber to Bring Real Time Election Night Coverage on Our New Site

Sure, you can listen to your favorite talking heads at CNN, MSNBC or Fox News rattle off their jargon du jour.

But for the first time, the Indiana Chamber’s web site will be Election Night Central, updating you on the status of the many state races the other guys often miss. Furthermore, we’ll be partnering with Hoosier Access and will have streaming analysis every half hour featuring our political affairs director Michael Davis and Hoosier Access’ own Josh Gillespie waxing analytical about what they’re seeing.

So the option is yours — you can watch Anderson Cooper & Company play with their crazy hand-held CGI pie charts (that’s just not natural), or you can kick it Hoosier style with the likes of us. (Ok, actually, you can do both since they’re two different mediums, but I’m on a roll.)

Just visit on election night and watch the results roll in. 

Note: This blog will also be used for running analysis in tandem with the main site, so don’t forget about us — or the communications team will whine like neglected puppies. (We think we’re people.)

Making the (Indiana) Call on Congress

Our panel of media/blogging experts previewed election topics far and wide in the current issue of BizVoice. The roundtable discussion included a Congressional look, which didn’t make the cut for the print edition.

While three seats went from Republicans to Democrats in 2006, most pundits see fewer opportunities for change this time around. A few of the insghts:

  • The fourth straight matchup between Baron Hill and Mike Sodrel in the 9th District will again be the one to watch. Matt Tully of the Indianapolis Star says the past negative races kept both sides quieter early in the process, but expect a strong final push. Joshua Gillespie of Hoosier Access adds that a wildcard is some high-ranking Democrats upset with Hill’s endorsement of Barack Obama during the primary.
  • Republican challengers will likely embrace the energy issue. WXNT Radio’s Abdul Hakim-Shabazz wouldn’t be surprised at a compromise from the Democrats to take that chip away from the GOP, with the knowledge that an agreement today won’t yield substantial impacts for a number of years.
  • In the Senate as a whole, Jeff Pruitt of Fort Wayne Politics puts the over/under at five on seats switching to the Democrat side.
  • Pruitt notes it’s a longshot bid, but he says Demcrat challenger Mike Montagano is running well early against incumbent Mark Souder, seeking his eighth term.

BizVoice has much, much more on Election ’08.

Talking Politics and Da Region

In a recent BizVoice magazine roundtable discussion on the 2008 political season (see the story here), the question was asked whether regionalism really matters in the 21st century as much as it did before.

The quick, almost in unison, answer from Matt Tully of the Indianapolis Star and Joshua Gillespie of Hoosier Access: In this state, yeah.

Tully, speaking of his former home turf of Northwest Indiana: "They feel like they’re part of Chicago." Noting Gov. Mitch Daniels’ many visits to the region in the last four years, he adds, "TV advertising is not going to do it. You’ve got to show that you go up there."

Gillespie notes: "When you actually have Lake County Republicans talking well about Gov. Daniels … there’s no way he wins it, but there’s a better chance he gets a better performance."

Catch more of the BizVoice election preview.

IBRG Goes 16 for 16 in ’08 Primaries

There is success — and then there is a "100% grand slam, we did everything we intended to do" outcome.

The latter sums up Tuesday for Indiana Business for Responsive Government (IBRG) , the political action arm of the Indiana Chamber. IBRG is in the business of electing state legislators focused on a pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda. It endorsed 16 candidates (nine in the House and seven in the Senate). All 16 were winners.

Among the highlights:
* IBRG was part of a coalition supporting challenger Wes Culver (R-Goshen) against incumbent John Ulmer, also of Goshen, in House District 49. Culver earned a most impressive 70.7% of the vote

* IBRG was active in the re-election effort of Dan Leonard (R-Huntington), who collected more than 58% of the vote in handily defeating two challengers in House District 50

* An open-seat Senate race saw IBRG help Republican Jean Leising (a former state senator from Oldenburg) collect more than 48% of the vote in a four-way battle in District 42

IBRG bases its endorsements on legislator voting records (as documented in the Legislative Vote Analysis) and candidate interviews. There won’t be too much time for pats on the back, however, as the general election awaits — as does the effort to elect legislators ready to work for an economic climate that rewards Indiana companies and their employees.

UPDATE: Indiana political blog Hoosier Access has also taken note of IBRG’s success, heralding the PAC as the big winner on election night.