Indiana Election 2012: The Donnelly way bucks an otherwise red Indiana
By Rick Yencer
MUNCIE, IN - Democrats continued to pour on the celebrities, calls and organization Monday when former Gov. Evan Bayh came to town to promote Congressman Joe Donnelly as Indiana's next U.S. Senator.
Bayh, who gave up the Senate seat that was later won by U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, talked with lunch customers at Richard's Restaurant that included former state senator Allie Craycraft, and his daughter, Annette. Bayh suggested that Donnelly's common sense besides that graft by Republican Richard Mourdock over abortion and rape guaranteed Donnelly victory.
Money continued to pour in that Indiana U.S. Senate race although those millions paled by comparison to Senate races in Virginia, Montana and Massechusetts.Virginia was a money leader with about $80 million spent on that race.
Donnelly raced across Indiana, stopping in major cities as polling indicated that he was a clear winner, especially among women, in the Senate race.
The campaign just before polls open on Tuesday also could be found at a meeting of Borg Warner Automotive retirees at the Forest Park Senior Citizens Center.
There Democratic House hopeful Sue Errington gave a rousing speech to get out the vote amid retirees still fighting for their health care benefits from the big corporation that closed the local plant. Gerald Poor, United Auto Workers Local 289 retirees spokesman, said a federal judge could decide later this week whether the case goes to trial.
It was Mayor Dennis Tyler who gave a passionate speech about the true meaning of the 2012 election between Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Simply put, it is about the national health care program that Obama staked his political future on and the firestorm of criticism from Republicans.
Everyone deserves health care, said Tyler, adding that the new program closed the hole for hundreds of thousands of children without means for medical and health care. Reminding the crowd that he had a grandchild with autism, Tyler said he would fight to ensure everyone had affordable health care.
Meanwhile, early voting ended at noon Monday with a long line waiting at the county election office. While it did not compare with long lines in Florida or other eastern states, the numbers for early voting suggested those hundreds of thousands youth that turned Indiana blue in 2008 were no longer there.
Delaware County only had about about 5,090 people vote early in the office, compared to 7,530 in 2008.
And other polls suggest that Romney has a 10 point lead over Obama in Indiana that could translate into long coat tails for state and local Republicans.
One Republican taking no chances Monday was Rep. Jack Lutz, R-Anderson, who had teams out passing out flyers and judging voter turnout on a door to door basis,
Lutz, who chairs the power Indiana House Utilities and Energy Committee, has mailed a handful of flyers that paint Democrat Melanie Wright, a Daleville teacher, as someone who is a single issue candidate and ignores surveys by Indiana Right to Life, the National Rifle Association and other conservative causes.
Wright stands for creating more jobs and maintaining strong public education when Republican lawmakers prefer Indiana become a voucher state with only a piece of paper deciding education for youth And that education is becoming decidedly more private, online and chartered by other interests.
Judging from the signs, polls in Yorktown will be the place to be seen Tuesday as hundreds of signs showed up at Yorktown schools and churches where people go to vote. The new town also has some lively council races after the current Republican majority did little or nothing this year to improve the community outside of making a spectacle of criminal accusations against the town marshal over a high school graduation party that served alcohol. No charges ever resulted from the investigation by Indiana State Police.