Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Indiana wants me

The big surprise in the last election was the state of Indiana. No Democrat has won Indiana since LBJ in 1964. Before that, no Democrat had won Indiana since FDR in 1932 and 1936. Before that, no Democrat had won Indiana since Woodrow Wilson in 1912 (and that was only with Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft splitting the Republican vote). In other words, Indiana was a reliable Republican state, only going Democratic during overwhelming Demiocratic landslides. Bill Clinton won more electoral votes than Obama in 1992 and 1996, but he didn't win Indiana.

The 2006 midterm elections saw no less than three House seats in Indiana flip from Republican to Democratic, giving the Dems a majority of the state's House delegation for the first time since 1994. All five Democratic incumbents were re-elected in 2008.

There can't be any question about it. Indiana, once a Republican fortress, has become a battleground state. Add in Virginia, which also hasn't gone Democratic since 1964, and North Carolina, which hasn't gone Democratic since 1976, and you've got big trouble for the Republicans. These are all now battleground states, and they didn't get that way by becoming more conservative -- they got that way by becoming more liberal.

A Republican Party that has to fight for Indiana is a Republican Party that is going to spend a long time in the political wilderness.

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