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In Indiana's Fourth Congressional District, there is evidence that Nels Ackerson is running strong against incumbent Republican, Steve Buyer; with a survey showing Ackerson at 36% to Buyer's 38% and 26% undecided. The very first thing to note is that the Lafayette Journal & Courier poll was not scientific. Normally, I would not bother mentioning such a thing -- if Candidate X does well in an online Internet poll, for example, that is evidence of exactly nothing. However, the other results for candidates in the Journal & Courier's survey appear consistent with what I have seen in scientific polls. The survey has Gov. Daniels at 49% to Jill Long Thompson's 30% and McCain up over Obama 51% to 45%. So, it seems reasonable to conclude that the Ackerson/Buyer responses are within shouting distance of what a scientific poll would reveal.

For some background on the campaign to date, I have been following it off and on since July 2007.

Update - 4:50 p.m. EDT Taking the advice in the comments, I'll expand a bit upon what is going on in Indiana's 4th District.

The Fourth District is a sprawling mess that stretches mostly north to south in west-central Indiana. Incumbent Steve Buyer has been in office for 16 years and is mostly notable for ducking debates. This has been effective in that he has faced poorly financed Democratic challengers and has won by big margins.

This year, Nels Ackerson raised enough money and has an impressive enough resume that Buyer felt the need to engage in at least one debate -- but he tried to do it in a way that would guarantee as little coverage as possible. Then, immediately at the beginning of the debate, Buyer pitched a fit about Ackerson "breaking the rules." Later investigation suggested that the "rule violation" was Ackerson letting constituents know that the debate was taking place -- in other words, Buyer thought Ackerson wasn't allowed to publicize the fact of the debate. The debate is available here.  Media coverage of the debate is here. My own uneven coverage of the debate is here.  

To date, Ackerson has raised about $400,000 and has about $177,000 left on hand. Buyer has raised about $485,000 and has about $628,000 on hand. PAC contributions make up about 73% of Buyer's money versus about 7% for Ackerson.

Ackerson is a graduate of the Purdue College of Agriculture and the Harvard Law School. Interestingly, he has some hands on experience with the Middle East, having been involved with establishing Egypt’s first American law office. Mainly prior to being a candidate, he was a distinguished lawyer who has been heavily involved in protecting private property rights against government and utility incursion.

Originally posted to mhojo on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 06:24 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  thank you (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joy Busey, Turbonerd, Dragon5616

    Thanks for spending some time focusing on down ticket races like Nels Ackerson's challenge. We will be rescuing this diary today and it will appear again tonight at 11:00 in the front paged edition of Election Race Diary Rescue.

    Please keep this race in the news with regular followup. Thanks again,

  •  Please keep us updated (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Does the campaign have any activities planned?

    You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was. - Irish Proverb

    by Turbonerd on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 11:21:46 AM PDT

  •  One more thing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This is more "comment" than diary, but the info is important. If you could flesh it out with just a little more info - history of the seat, of the district, something about the candidate(s), even a blockquote or two from the article - that would be great.

    Make a difference today. Who better than you?

    by sidinny on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 11:24:09 AM PDT

  •  Buyer's other great accomplishments (0+ / 0-)

    include introducing a flag-burning amendment and leading the charge on the Clinton impeachment.

    Truly a despicable human being. He used to be my congressman before districts were redrawn. Now I am in IN-05, represented by the equally odious Dan Burton.

    I would love to see Buyer and Burton defeated, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Thanks for the update, however.

    "It's no wonder more people call themselves Democrats; it's easy to identify with a party that identifies with you." --srmjjg

    by Dragon5616 on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 08:28:37 PM PDT

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