Yes, Democrats Won In Indiana
Posted by Former U.S. Rep. Baron Hill | 12/17/2012
The perception in Indiana after the election was that Republicans won the state big time. But, they didn’t. While this perception is driven by the fact that Mitt Romney won the Presidential race in Indiana, a closer look at the voting numbers in the US Senate race, the congressional races, the race for Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Governor’s race reveal an interesting result. In spite of Indiana General Assembly and Congressional maps designed and drawn by Republican leadership, Hoosier voters did make history on November 6th by supporting Democrats in key races.
First, the Superintendent’s race. Glenda Ritz is the first Democrat to win this office in forty (40) years. And, she won it in a big way. Ritz won with 57,331 more votes than Mike Pence. Other than incumbent Attorney General Greg Zoeller, she garnered the most votes of any candidate elected to an office in state government. Anyone who doesn’t believe that this was not a rejection of Governor Daniels’ and Tony Bennett’s education reforms is insulting the voters. The legislature and Governor-elect Pence should take note. If they don’t, and choose to ignore this reality, there is always next election.
Next, the Senate race. Once again, Democrat Joe Donnelly totaled more votes than Mike Pence; almost six thousand more. This can be partly attributed to the strong race run by John Gregg. In fact, given some time, I believe John Gregg would have won that race. But, Joe Donnelly’s victory can be attributed to his moderate policy positions and a rejection of extreme conservatism, stances that reflect the common-sense Hoosier way.
Lastly, the Congressional races. Democrats won two congressional seats and established my former colleagues Pete Visclosky and Andre Carson as the senior members of our Congressional delegation. This clearly confirms that many a Hoosier voter has a strong independent soul.
During my years serving Indiana in the General Assembly and in Congress, I always knew one thing---that we must always listen to the people of our great state. On November 6th, millions of Hoosiers redefined how they wanted Indianapolis to work on educational issues and how they wanted Washington to resolve the gridlock that paralyzes Congress. In both cases, they demonstrated that they wanted the common-sense, rational approach of Democrats to join with them to make Indiana and America a better place for this and future generations.
Baron P. Hill
Former Member of Congress