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This diary is cross-posted at, An Enduring Democratic Majority.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is probably the most endangered Republican of the 2008 cycle so far. With an approval rating that hasn't been over 50 percent since 2005, Daniels has already been targeted by national Democrats.

Today the Associated Press is reporting that Daniels will be making an "Important Announcement" on June 16 at Butler University. The prevailing opinion out of the Hoosier State seems to be that this announcement will be the kickoff to Daniels' 2008 reelection campaign.

The invitation says in bold letters, "Save This Date, June 16, 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.," and "You are invited to an important announcement."

The e-mail includes a circle that says "Go Gov" and a picture of Daniels holding a small child with a green sticker on his shirt that says "My Man Mitch" – Daniels’ campaign slogan during his successful 2004 campaign.

[...]

State Democratic Chairman Dan Parker said he assumed the announcement would be that Daniels was running for a second term, especially given the "Go Gov" phrase on the invitation.

"I don’t think this news should be shocking to anyone that he’s running for re-election," Parker said. "His problem is he will have to defend an agenda that is out of touch with average Hoosiers. I guess that is why he is starting early."

Daniels defeated incumbent Democrat Joe Kernan convincingly in 2004, 53.2 percent to 45.8 percent. However, his policies of privatizing the state's "Indiana Toll Road" and not listening to the public on daylight savings time have left Daniels increasingly unpopular.

Already two Democrats have stepped up to the plate to try and unseat Daniels: State Senator Minority Leader Richard Young and Indiana Architect
Jim Schellinger.

According to his web site, Young seems to be ready to take on privatization a full force. Trying to hammer away at Daniels, Young says that "Privatization in Indiana has become a tool that prevents government accountability to the public in the delivery of goods and services." Additionally, Young lists affordable health care as one of his main goals citing a religious obligation to do so:

To me, commitment to providing adequate medical care to all Hoosiers is a moral value. To assist those who are less fortunate is the basis of every religion.

Not much information is available on Schellinger yet, as his web site is not yet up and running. Though through the story previously linked to from the Indianapolis Star, Schellinger is describing himself as a "Moderate to Conservative Democrat." What is most impressive thus far about Schellinger is the endorsements that he has received. These endorsements include Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson, U.S. Rep. Julia Carson and, the big one, the state UAW (courtesy of Blueindiana.net).

Indiana was very kind to the Democrats in 2006. The party was able to pickup three congressional seats in IN-02, IN-08 and IN-09. Furthermore with things further deteriorating under Bush's watch, there is little reason to believe that these new incumbents cannot win reelection in 2008. This lower ballot sucess could potentially translate into success for whomever is chosen to take on Daniels come Nov. 2008.

While neither Young nor Schellinger seem like the ideal progressive Democrat that the netroots would embrace with open arms, this is definitely a race the Democrats should and need to win. Indiana is a very important state for this reason: it is essentially a bridge between two Democratic strongholds.

Consider this map.

If the Democrats can win the Indiana seat they have literally built a coalition of statehouse seats that connect the New England/Mid Atlantic stronghold to the upper Midwest stronghold. I am a firm believer that statewide success begins with the statehouses. Win the Governor's mansion and the Senate and House seats will follow. Look at Virginia: after five years of Mark Warner and Tim Kaine dominance in Richmond, Senator Jim Webb was able to sneak out a victory in 2006. In 2004 New Hampshire Governor John Lynch defeats a Republican incumbent, two years later the Democrats capture both house seats. The proof is there.

Mitch Daniels must be defeated.

Donate?!

Originally posted to Skulnick on Thu May 10, 2007 at 08:56 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    For Democratic dominance in the state capitols

    Check out my new blog, dedicated to electing our boys in blue: An Enduring Democratic Majority

    by Skulnick on Thu May 10, 2007 at 08:47:29 AM PDT

  •  Good freakin' luck Mitch (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JuliaAnn, rmx2630, lams712, Skulnick

    If you thought the atmosphere in IN was toxic in '06, it's gonna be freakin' nuclear in '08.

    And, you're an asshole Daniels.

  •  I never thought I would look back... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JuliaAnn, paddykraska, Skulnick

    ...at those early days of Evan Bayh and long for them. I never fully embraced him, I thought of him as a Repub.-lite DINO, but in comparison to the alernative, practically ANY Democrat would be an improvement.

    I lived in Indiana from 1989-93 when I was in college (Butler University). I remember for much of my time there that of the 10 congressional seats 8 were held by Democrats (and this was when Dan Quayle was Vice-President and the Republicans seemed really strong in the state). I guess what I'm saying is that despite the fact that a Democrat has not carried the state in a presidential election since LBJ in 1964, Indiana is VERY capable of turning more blue.

    "...if my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine...." {-8.13;-5.59}

    by lams712 on Thu May 10, 2007 at 09:01:39 AM PDT

  •  Good. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lams712

      I'm glad that Baron Hill decided not to run for the governorship.  We would almost certainly lose his House seat if he did.

  •  DITCH MITCH (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JuliaAnn, lams712, Skulnick, JeffW

    the worst governor ever

    Keep Religion in Church

    by titotitotito on Thu May 10, 2007 at 10:17:14 AM PDT

  •  Another Hoosier here ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lams712

    not by birth, but have lived here past 15 years. My kids want to finish high school where their history and friends are, but I cannot stand this state. I promise I'll stay long enough to help trounce Mitch Daniels. What a corporatist gasbag fascist he is.

    My oldest son put a sign in our yard last election that had his picture and said in big letters: MY MAIN BITCH. The neighbors weren't pleased, but then, these are some of the folks who made sure Bush got another four years to frik this nation over.

    Poor human beings. For most of us, where we are born or have to live is so beyond our control. I feel sorry for myself sometimes, but then ... imagine folks who were in a town where the plague hit, or who said the wrong thing when the inquisition came to the village, or who had a hut where the tsunami struck, or who worked in the World Trade Center on 9-11 ... I mean, unless you're a rich powerful person, life is about eeking out some joy amidst an overwhelming sense of hopelessness and helplessness.

    "There are four boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order." Ed Howdershelt

    by JuliaAnn on Thu May 10, 2007 at 10:30:53 AM PDT

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