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  • Schuyler Beltrami

2022 Midterms Preview – Indiana


Indiana Dunes National Park (Photo: Pixabay)

The Millennial Agora continues our complete preview of the upcoming midterm elections for Congress with the state of Indiana. A state of just under seven million people, Indiana is a mostly rural state in the upper Midwest. The state’s largest urban area is around the capital, Indianapolis which is home to around 1/3 of the entire population of the state. Other urban areas include the city of Gary, which is largely now a suburb of Chicago, as well as smaller cities such as Evansville and Fort Wayne. The state has been a reliably Republican state over the past six decades, with a high concentration of Democratic voters only in Indianapolis and Gary. Former President Trump won the state in 2020 by around 16% and only one Democratic Presidential nominee has won the state since 1964 (Barack Obama in 2008). In 2022, there will be elections in Indiana for the House of Representatives and Senate. Currently, the state’s delegation in the House is split 7-2 in favor of Republicans.


House of Representatives

Indiana receives nine seats in the House of Representatives and all seats will be up for election in November. The overall CVPI for the entire state is R+11, making Indiana’s House races (taken as a whole) to lean heavily for the Republicans. (The CPVI, or Cook Partisan Voting Index, is the main metric to measure the strength of a political party for a particular House district or Senate seat. The measure was created and managed by the non-partisan Cook Political Report and uses historical data, as well as polling, to create the “partisan lean” of each district or state. A CPVI rating of R+15 would mean that on average, Republican candidates win elections in that district or state by an average of 15%, while a rating of D+15 would mean the same thing, but for the Democratic candidate. A district or state with a CPVI with double digits is considered to be non-competitive).


I. IN-01:

A. Current Representative: Frank J. Mrvan (D)

B. Population Distribution: Majority Urban and Suburban, Some Rural Areas

C. Demographics: 59% White, 21% African American, 17% Hispanic

D. Cook PVI: D+3 (Toss-up)

E. Outlook: Indiana’ first district includes all of the city of Gary and the Indiana suburbs of Chicago, as well as many rural areas in the northwestern corner of the state along the border with Illinois. Incumbent Rep. Mrvan has represented the district since 2020. He was elected in 2020 with 57% of the vote and overperformed President Biden in the district. His district was redrawn and made more competitive and faces much stiffer competition in the form of Republican nominee Jennifer-Ruth Green, an Air Force veteran. However, the stats still tend to be on the side of Rep. Mrvan. Democratic candidates received around 9,000 more votes in the district’s closed primaries, he has not trailed in any poll, and currently has a 7% lead in the aggregate polling data, which has improved from a 3% lead at the end of July. If the national Democratic momentum can stay intact, Rep. Mrvan should have enough Democratic support from the Chicago-area suburbs to propel him to victory. However, with a significant rural area, this is a district which would be a prime target for Republicans and a flip in this district could signify a strong night for Republicans in suburban districts around the country.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (HOLD)


II. IN-02:

A. Current Representative: None (Vacant Seat)

B. Population Distribution: Majority Rural, Some Urban Areas

C. Demographics: 76% White, 11% Hispanic, 9% African American

D. Cook PVI: R+14 (Strong Republican)

E. Outlook: The Indiana 2nd District the central northern part of the state, including the college town of South Bend and a part of the state’s border with Michigan. The incumbent in this seat was Republican Representative Jackie Walorski, however she was killed in a car crash in August, along with two members of her staff. Because her death occurred more than 70 days before the general election, there must be a special election held to replace her seat. This special election will be held concurrently with the regularly scheduled election on November 8th, however the special election will be held under the old congressional lines, whereas the second election will be held under the new lines. The nominees for both elections are the same however, and the favorite for the seat is Republican nominee Rudy Yakym, an executive at a Supply Chain Management company and the former finance director for former Representative Walorski. Republican candidates received around three times more votes than Democratic candidates in this district’s closed primaries which took place before the death of former Rep. Walorski.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


III. IN-03:

A. Current Representative: Jim Banks (R)

B. Population Distribution: Mostly Urban and Suburban, Many Rural Areas

C. Demographics: 81% White, 8% African American, 7% Hispanic

D. Cook PVI: R+18 (Strong Republican)

E. Outlook: The Indiana 3rd District northeastern corner of the state, including the city of Fort Wayne and parts of the state’s borders with Michigan and Ohio. Current Rep. Banks has represented the district since 2016. He was reelected in 2020 with 68% of the vote.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


IV. IN-04:

A. Current Representative: Jim Baird (R)

B. Population Distribution: Overwhelmingly Rural, Some Suburban

C. Demographics: 81% White, 7% Hispanic, 5% African American

D. Cook PVI: R+18 (Strong Republican)

E. Outlook: The Indiana 4th District is a large district encompassing the western central portion of the state, including the small city of Lafayette, the western suburbs of Indianapolis and parts of the state’s border with Illinois. Incumbent Rep. Baird has represented the district since 2018. He was reelected in 2020 with 67% of the vote and received more than eight times more votes than Democratic candidates in the district’s closed primaries.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


V. IN-05:

A. Current Representative: Victoria Spartz (R)

B. Population Distribution: Mostly Rural, Some Urban and Suburban

C. Demographics: 81% White, 8% African American, 5% Hispanic

D. Cook PVI: R+11 (Strong Republican)

E. Outlook: The Indiana 5th District includes most of the northern suburbs of Indianapolis, as well as the smaller cities of Muncie and Marion. The current incumbent, Ukrainian-born Congresswoman Victoria Spartz, has represented the district since 2020. In that election she won with exactly 50% of the vote, however her district was redrawn to be far more favorable to Republicans and includes many more exurban and rural areas now. She received around four times more votes than all Democratic candidates in the district’s closed primaries.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


VI. IN-06:

A. Current Representative: Greg Pence (R)

B. Population Distribution: Majority Rural, Some Suburban

C. Demographics: 81% White, 6% Asian, 6% African American, 5% Hispanic

D. Cook PVI: R+19 (Strong Republican)

E. Outlook: The Indiana 6th District includes the eastern central part of the state, including some of the eastern and southern suburbs of Indianapolis as well as a part of the state’s border with Ohio. Incumbent Rep. Pence, the older brother of former Vice President and former Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence, has represented the district since 2018. He was reelected in 2020 with 69% of the vote and received around five times more votes than Democratic candidates in the district’s closed primaries.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


VII. IN-07:

A. Current Representative: André Carson (D)

B. Population Distribution: Urban

C. Demographics: 45% White, 36% African American, 15% Hispanic

D. Cook PVI: D+19 (Strong Democratic)

E. Outlook: The Indiana 7th District the most Democratic district in the state and includes all of downtown Indianapolis. The district was purposely drawn to be overwhelmingly Democratic so as to split the left-leaning Indianapolis suburbs with many other districts. The current Representative, André Carson, has represented the district since 2008. He received more than three times more votes than all Republican candidates in the district’s closed primaries.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (HOLD)


VIII. IN-08:

A. Current Representative: Larry Bucshon (R)

B. Population Distribution: Majority Rural, Some Urban Areas

C. Demographics: 88% White, 5% African American

D. Cook PVI: R+19 (Strong Republican)

E. Outlook: The Indiana 8th District includes the southwestern corner of the state, including the cities of Evansville and Terre Haute, as well as parts of the state’s borders with Illinois and Kentucky. Incumbent Rep. Bucshon has represented the district since 2010. He was reelected with 67% of the vote in 2020 and received about twice as many votes as Democratic candidates in the district’s closed primaries.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


IX. IN-09:

A. Current Representative: Trey Hollingsworth (R)

B. Population Distribution: Overwhelmingly Rural, Few Urban Areas

C. Demographics: 87% White

D. Cook PVI: R+16 (Strong Republican)

E. Outlook: The Indiana 9th District includes the southeastern corner of the state, including the college town of Bloomington, as well as parts of the state’s borders with Kentucky and Ohio. Incumbent Rep. Hollingsworth decided to retire and not stand for reelection in the district. The favorite to replace him is Republican nominee Erin Houchin, who was a member of the Indiana State Senate since 2014. Republican candidates received more than twice as many votes as Democratic candidates in the district’s closed primaries.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


Senate

Indiana, like all states, has two seats in the Senate, one of which will be up for election this year. Incumbent Republican Senator Todd Young is seeking his second term in the United States Senate. He ran unopposed in the Republican primary. His challenger in this race is Democratic nominee Thomas McDermott Jr., current mayor of Hammond, IN, one of the Indiana suburbs of Chicago. Sen. Young received two times more votes than Democratic candidates in the state’s closed primaries. There has been very little polling done in the race, and the two polls which have been carried out, one in August and one in late September produced some surprising results, with Sen. Young only leading by 3% and 2% respectively, however in the aggregate data he has a 17% lead, and it is really difficult to make any conclusions from two polls, one of which was sponsored by the McDermott campaign. Despite the abnormal polling, Sen. Young is an incumbent Republican in a deep red state. He will have no problem earning a second term in the Senate.

Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


Analysis

The Millennial Agora is predicting that the House races in Indiana will finish 7-2 in favor of Republicans, with no gains for either party. The Senate race will end with a Republican victory as well, according to our predictions.


Thank you for reading our preview of the midterm elections in Indiana. Check back tomorrow as we preview Iowa, another Midwest state, which was a tossup over the past decades, but has turned more to the right in the most recent electoral cycles and another state where redistricting should lead to positive results for Republicans.



The state of the House after our predictions. Made at 270towin.com

The state of the Senate after our predictions. Made at 270towin.com (States in light grey have no Senate seats up for election this year)

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