It's primary day in Indiana, and there is almost a carnival atmosphere in the air.
I'm 5th generation Hoosier and a Hoosier blogger, so I deeply love the state. But, I'm under no illusions about our political significance. Normally we are a political backwater - generally being declared Republican within 60 seconds of the polls closing in any Presidential race. 1964 was the last time the state went to the Democratic presidential candidate. 1968 was the last election anyone campaigned for the Presidency in Indiana. So, I'm going to take a moment to bask in the momentary spotlight.
Below the fold, I'll try to provide a round up of the word from the Hoosier blogosphere.
Abdul put up some predictions - he is bucking the consensus and thinks that Obama will win the primary. For state races, he figures Jill Long Thompson will beat out Jim Schellinger to challenge Gov. Daniels in the fall. And, for IN-07, formerly Julia Carson's seat, he thinks Julia's grandson Andre will benefit greatly from Obama's endorsement to beat some strong competition from Myers and Orentlicher. However, he is noticing a trend in that race wherein the Republicans crossing over for Hillary are also voting for Myers.
Left in Aboite notes expectations in Allen County (Fort Wayne area) of 50% voter turnout which is a significant increase from past years.
Vox Populi has a prediction thread at Blue Indiana (with a cool $5.06 contribution awaiting the most accurate prognoticator.) The consensus seems to be about a 5 - 6 point Clinton victory in Indiana. My sense is that most of the predictions come from Obama supporters who are used to having their hearts broken politically and who are making their predictions accordingly.
Finally, outside of the blogosphere, Libby Copeland, writing for the Washington Post, has an article about Muncie, Indiana in light of today's primary. The piece has an anthropologist-among-the-natives vibe to it, but overall isn't too bad. Apparently Muncie has been used as the epitome of "middle America" in various studies over the last century or so. The heart of the story, in my opinion, is this:
Cantrell, 51, says he'll be voting Democratic this election. He's not sure for whom yet, but Democratic for sure. Hillary or that guy, whatever his name is.
"As far as I'm concerned, the Republicans have turned things to [expletive]," he says. "I'm working two jobs now just so I can put gas in my van."
Cantrell talks about what it was like when his dad came up from the South, like so many others, to work in the parts plants in Muncie. How the city was thriving then. If people think this is Middle America, he says, they're wrong. Muncie doesn't represent Middle America anymore.
"Well, I hope Middle America is a little better than what's around here," he says. "Otherwise, that's depressing."
However, the story misses a trick by failing to mention Lazy Muncie which probably does as good a job as anything in capturing the spirit of the town: