February 24, 2011 9 Comments
We have had a few comments asking our opinion on what the effect the Democrat walkouts over at the Statehouse will have on local races here in Marion County.
At Ogden on Politics, Paul says, “You betcha.” He argues that these issues will motivate the Democrat base and predicts Mayor Greg Ballard will lose by more than ten percent. To that, we ask if he is a part of the marijuana legalization study the State Senate just passed. We’re not saying it is crazy to predict a victory by either candidate–everyone has the right to their opinion. We’re saying a ten percent victory for either side is a bit over the top. As an aside, Paul said, “Opinion polls do not measure the intensity of one’s views.” That is incorrect. Nearly every poll we’ve ever seen has an intensity question. Not all do but most that are done by reputable pollsters include an intensity question.
Over at Indy Democrat, Jon Easter says yes. He makes a valid argument that some of the controversial issues being brought up over at the Statehouse could put local officials in a tough spot. Honestly, we think that it is all a matter of how the issues are addressed. That said, those issues are not what the walkout is centered on. We believe the walkout is going to overshadow a lot of those issues at this point and become the issue. And we believe the House Democrats overplayed their hand. We said it yesterday but Capitol & Washington referenced a poll saying that 67% of Americans disapprove of the walkouts like in Wisconsin. That isn’t an Indiana only poll but it shows a general trend.
Our view is that they overplayed their hand and it will end up being a negative for Democrats in the Statehouse. We really aren’t sure that it is going to have any effect on local candidates. We did read on IBJ reporter Francesca Jarosz’s twitter that Democrats plan to skip the State of the City address as a show of opposition. If local Democrats start taking their cues from the Statehouse then this trend could definitely have an effect on the upcoming elections. Voters typically expect legislators to show up and vote. They do not always have to agree with the vote but just not voting doesn’t seem to be acceptable. And there is always a danger for any candidate to get on the wrong side of an issue and have a problem–but that is something a candidate can control or at least minimize the damage.
But to say you know definitely how any of this will actually play out and affect elections while we are still in the middle of it is a bit of a stretch. As Michael Douglas says in The American President, ” I drop five points when Wisconsin doesn’t make the Rose Bowl.” Our point? Voters are unpredictable and this situation is volatile. Who knows what is going to happen.