Primary elections in an off-presidential year are usually yawners. The usual suspects, like me, that are more highly engaged will show up and everyone else doesn’t even know anything is going on. Things are a little different here in Indiana this year. With a highly vulnerable incumbent Democrat, Joe Donnelly, sitting for re-election in a state with no other statewide Democrat office holders and that Trump carried by nearly 20 points, a lot of people lined up to be the torch-bearer. This has led to a pretty contentious primary that a lot of national news outlets are calling the nastiest primary in the nation.
Unlike West Virginia where Trump has personally intervened to try to sway voters, it has been pretty much an all in-state campaign. I don’t think many of my fellow Hoosiers are very interested in the race between Todd Rokita, Luke Messer and Mike Braun. They all seem to agree on most stuff and the two main candidates, Rokita and Messer, are trying to out-do one another to claim the “true conservative” and “Trumpian” mantle. I think the lack of substantive difference between the candidates is the source of a lot of the rancor.
I ended up casting my vote for Todd Rokita. He is solid on the wall, immigration, being pro-life and pro-Second Amendment. He even talks about making English the official language, which dropped off the radar years ago. From what I can tell he does the retail politics thing well, he just got done criscrossing the state to shake hands and kiss babies, and also does a solid job on the social media thing (lots of twitter, email blasts, etc.). I would be OK with the other two, anyone but Joe Donnelly would be a huge improvement. It is embarrassing that a deep red state like Indiana would have a Democrat senator but thanks to a serious flub by the GOP candidate in 2012 and a solid showing from the Libertarian we ended up with one. Time to send Joe home.
Now to wait for the polls to close and the returns to come in!