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.