Wall Street Journal
Indiana is a traditionally Republican state that was colored blue in 2008. The Hoosier State went for Barack Obama by a whisker, 50%-49%, and thus promises to be a key battleground in 2012 as the GOP tries to win back the presidency.
After Tuesday’s elections, Republicans have reason to be hopeful about next year. Before the elections, Democrats held a 68 to 48 majority of the mayor’s offices. Now, Republicans hold a 61 to 54 majority with 2 Independents. According to the Indiana GOP, the Republicans retained control of city hall in “Indianapolis, Terre Haute, Mishawaka, West Lafayette, Valparaiso, Marion and others, and picked up seats in Columbus, Jeffersonville, Evansville, Logansport, LaPorte and Portage, among others.” Two other mayoral races have yet to be decided and may be headed for recounts.
The results come on the heels of big electoral gains for the GOP after last year’s midterm elections. Republicans won majorities in the congressional delegation and flipped a U.S. Senate seat from ‘D’ to ‘R.’ They won 60 seats in the state house to the Democrats’ 40, reversing the Democratic majority of 52 to 48. Republicans also gained four state senate seats.
According to Greg Garrison, a popular radio talk show host in Indiana, the Republican gains on Tuesday are “a tribute to the popularity and competent leadership of Mitch Daniels,” the governor. He says Mr. Daniels has balanced the budget, cut spending and increased efficiency of government services. It’s a progress agenda that Americans want at all levels of government.
The results on Tuesday also augur well for the GOP in 2012. Republican officials tell me that they are still stunned by Mr. Obama’s 2008 win in Indiana, given that George W. Bush won the state by 20 percentage points in 2004 and by 15 points in 2000.
Keep an eye on Indiana for 2012. The GOP almost surely has to win there if the party is to oust Mr. Obama.
To read more stories like this one, please subscribe to Political Diary.