Some of the biggest surprises of this unusual midterm election season have come from Indiana, a usually reliable red state that is looking suddenly blue, with as many as three GOP House members in peril. National discontent with Republican rule is partly to blame, but Democrats may have also found a winning formula here and in similar states: re-discovering their populist roots.
Entering the fray of a heated neck-and-neck race, first lady Laura Bush swept into Sodrel country Wednesday to boost the incumbent's prospects against Democratic challenger Baron Hill. In other last-minute maneuverings, the president plans to pay a visit of his own this Saturday. Rather than fundraisers, the events are more like rallies to energize Mike Sodrel's conservative base in the final days of campaigning.
Republican Rep. Mike Sodrel and Democratic challenger Baron Hill continue to bloody each other in the months-long tumult over when and how debates will be set, an issue that has received far more attention from the candidates than any topic a debate would actually address. The saga continued this week after Sodrel dropped out of a debate hosted by Indiana News 9. Sodrel, Hill, and Libertarian Party candidate Eric Schansberg had agreed to face off on October 1 in what would have been the second debate of the season.
It's the homestretch of the campaign season and with it comes a windfall of polling data that often provide the first clear look at how contested races are shaking out. Such is the case in Indiana's 9th district, where incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Sodrel is fending off a tough challenge from Democrat Baron Hill, who formerly held the seat.
Just days after challenger Baron Hill signaled that he might refuse to debate Rep. Mike Sodrel because the two could not agree on a format, Hill today said the debate will go forward as planned on August 31.