Hi. There was an interesting article in the Indianapolis Star about Vigo County, Ind. (home of Terre Haute) voting for the winning presidential candidate in every election since 1956. In fact, other than picking the losers in the 1908 and 1952 elections, Vigo County has voted for every winning presidential candidate since 1892. It would sure be cheaper for Presidential candidates to limit their campaigning to this bellwether county. Of course, these voters would probably have a personal visit from each candidate at least a dozen times!
Although not quite as famous, Hamilton County also has a mini-streak for Democrats who win statewide elections. Since 2000, only five Democratic candidates have won statewide elections. In each case, the candidate’s Hamilton County voting share was at least 38%, including Frank O’Bannon’s 40% in 2000, Evan Bayh’s 46% in 2004, Barack Obama’s 38% in 2008, and Joe Donnelly’s 39% and Glenda Ritz’s 40% in 2012.
In the 2012 election, gubernatorial candidate John Gregg got 31% of the vote in Hamilton County. He came close, but lost to Mike Pence statewide by 3%. President Obama’s share of the Hamilton County vote fell from 38% in 2008 to 32% in 2012. Likewise, he did not carry Indiana this time around.
However, President’s Obama share of the Hamilton County vote (both years) was considerably higher than the 24% that Al Gore received in 2000 and the 25% that John Kerry received in 2004. Thus, while Hamilton County continues to support Republicans candidates, the Democratic Presidential share has been trending upward.
This shows that there are plenty of voters in our county who will support Democratic candidates in numbers that allows them to win statewide offices. I believe Joe Donnelly won based on his moderate voting record and the non-compromising and extremist views of Richard Mourdock. Glenda Ritz’s victory seemed to be based on unhappiness with Tony Bennett’s treatment of teachers (at least that’s what a Republican friend of mine told me). Which Democrat will break through with 38% plus votes the next time around?