A Clear Choice

Indiana’s Democrats may finally be wising up.

As lines firm up for Indiana’s 2024 election, the Democrats are putting together a slate of impressive candidates for statewide office. Destiny Wells has announced she is joining Jennifer McCormick and Marc Carmichael on that statewide ballot. That makes three absolutely first-rate candidates who will take on Indiana’s MAGA culture warriors.

You may remember that Destiny Wells was expected to defeat disgraced Diego Morales for Secretary of State a couple of years ago, even though that contest was down-ballot and would have required a significant amount of ticket splitting in Red Indiana. She failed to pull that off, but garnered wide praise for her intellect and demeanor. She is now taking on one of Indiana’s most reviled politicians, Attorney General Todd Rokita.

I have previously written about Jennifer McCormick, former Secretary of Education, who is running for Governor, and about Marc Carmichael, running for U.S.Senate. You can expect additional posts about Marc and his positions when I return from our trip to Australia and New Zealand–I am all in on his campaign, and not simply because Marc is running against Jim Banks, Indiana’s version of Marjorie Taylor Green. Marc is a great guy– the real deal; furthermore, he has outlined his policy priorities and I agree with every single one of them. 

I have also posted–a number of times–about the candidates they are running against. (If you type Rokita in this blog’s search bar, you’ll find numerous negative posts beginning when he was in Congress, and extending through this, his first–and hopefully only– term as AG, during which he has “distinguished” himself by repeatedly attacking the doctor who aborted a raped ten-year-old, by joining other GOP AG’s in efforts to obtain the medical records of women leaving the state for reproductive services, and by grandstanding whenever a camera is near. Rokita was recently reprimanded by the state’s Supreme Court, and is generally an embarrassment to the legal profession.

Republican Senate candidate Jim Banks is currently a member of the Wrecking Ball Congress–an anti-government, anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ culture warrior married to a woman who heads up a several-state “pro-life” organization. He voted to overturn the 2020 election and to shut down the government, and supported loudmouth empty suit Jim Jordan for Speaker. 

We don’t yet know who the Republicans will nominate for Governor, but the likeliest is rich, self-important Mike Braun, who is leaving the Senate (where he signaled his disinterest in governing, and routinely voted for MAGA priorities). All five primary candidates seem to be promising tax cuts and vying for the Christian Nationalist vote.

There is absolutely no comparison between the quality of the Democratic candidates and the clown car that is the GOP ticket. If the Democrats can get their message out, I am confident they can win.

My only concern is funding. 

About the money: the Democrats don’t need to match the Club for Growth or the other far-right funders supporting GOP candidates, but they do need enough to get their message out– to let voters know who they are, where they stand, and how their positions differ from those of the MAGA culture warriors.

The data I’ve seen confirms that most Hoosiers agree with the Democrats’ message–especially on abortion and gun safety. But voters need to hear from these candidates, and that takes money. Hoosiers need to donate enough for a repeat of 2008 –when Barack Obama won Indiana– by funding this slate of outstanding Democrats.

The cartoonish Republicans on the ballot can’t defeat the Democratic ticket, but “savvy” political observers with a defeatist attitude about Indiana politics can. As I’ve said before, that defeatist attitude is far and away the biggest barrier to Democratic victories in this state. It prevents otherwise intelligent observers from recognizing–and funding– opportunities when they present themselves. 

Is Indiana a hard state for Democrats to win? Yes. Does this year offer unusual openings? Absolutely– especially in open, state-wide races where the GOP’s extreme gerrymandering is irrelevant.

They just need the resources to mount effective campaigns.

Next year, Hoosier Democrats will offer voters an absolutely sterling set of statewide candidates. These aren’t performative, “look at me I wanna be important” figures–they are serious, experienced, talented–and ethical. They believe in democracy. In Marc Carmichael’s words, they want to actually do the jobs. And unlike their opponents, they understand what those jobs entail, and are capable of fulfilling the duties of the offices involved.

And a bonus: in addition to getting good officeholders, Hoosiers can join the other states–including a number of Red ones– that have voted for reproductive rights and genuine religious liberty. 

We need to dig deep and send them money. It’s important!


  1. Money isn’t the only issue they face in 2024; the MAGA crowd will be genuinely motivated from the top of the ballot. GOTV for Democrats will be absolutely essential.

    We all know straight-ticket Republicans will be casting their usual number of ballots. Does MAGA repulse enough Democrats and Independents to cast huge volumes of ballots?

    What’s hurting Democrats right now is Joe Biden. He isn’t exciting anyone to vote, which may trickle down the ballot and across the country causing significant Democrat losses.

    Voter turnout is key for Democrats and Joe Biden is just too old to lead this country. He needs to be resting at home. So, how do the Democrats overcome Biden’s deficiencies? And, will he negatively impact local races in Indiana considering the MAGA crowd will be in full force?

    GOTV messages must be the Indiana Democratic Party’s strategy for 2024.

  2. Thank you for this clear and encouraging message on what we can do to promote democracy in Indiana in 2024. I felt similarly encouraged when I read this article about Terre Haute’s new mayor, Democrat Brandon Sakbun.

    In this interview Sakbun says, “Winning in a predominantly conservative state starts with humility and having genuine conversations and saying, ‘We may agree to disagree, but what can we fundamentally agree on in terms of the direction of our city or state?’”

    But it also takes enough money to get the message out.


  3. You and I inherited the knowledge of the ages upon birth. Of course over our years we had to go find it.

    Some of us wandered into this: Democracy can be thought of as “power of the people”: a way of governing which depends on the will of the people (majoriies of those fortunate enough to be born when and where others thought, fought and brought it about.

    Today Sheila says “There is absolutely no comparison between the quality of the Democratic candidates and the clown car that is the GOP ticket.”

    I’m not a Hoosier human but am a believer in democracy and wonder why political parties here and there evolved into authoritarian versus democracy preference and concluded that the answer is law versus order or, I should say, the will of the majority versus the will of individuals determined by power (relative wealth).

    But it has happened here and there.

  4. May I add TIME as a valuable input for politics. Here is another way to support the ticket Sheila has noted. Find ways to give time to candidates. Coffees, conversations with neighbors, learn about the issues so your conversations have content. Get a blue hat with MAGA on it and remind folks that the G stands for Generous. (I don’t know if there are such Blue MAGA hats, but you could have some made since you have the time — evidenced by reading this — to gather funds and get the job done.)

  5. Sheila, I’ve donated to the Carmichael campaign and recently received a thank you letter with Carmichael’s 12 priorities. I like every one but it’s more ‘national’ in perspective and needs tweaking to address Indiana’s specific needs. Assistance with funding education is one—-building on college tax credit legislation passed under the Obama administration, for example. Updating it to reflect the increased cost of education and indexing it for inflation. Continuing Investment in infrastructure is another—-reminding voters that the Biden administration passed this legislation and we need the Democrats to retain control to ensure that we continue that investment. Another, no more tax cuts for the rich and corporations. How about just saying Carmichael wants to make the tax system fairer for the middle class and repeal the Trump tax cuts for the wealthy, for those making over $400k. I recall that the legislation had a sunset provision which begins in 2025 and will require Congressional action.

  6. The Biden bashing is becoming a cliche’. One only has to look at the accomplishments of this administration to understand that the false branding is the only thing Republicans and doubters have. Mick Jagger is 81 too. And he’s still touring. Any competence questions there? Anybody you ever heard of saying Jagger is too old? Didn’t think so. The point is: If you’re competent, your age doesn’t matter. Heck, I’m 81 + too and shot 78 on Wednesday on a championship golf course. Anyone want to play me for their house?

    I love that Sheila extolls the virtues of the Democratic candidates. Yes, they’re probably much better than the corrupt, brain-dead morons that Indiana keeps electing to office. That isn’t the problem there, is it? The problem has several facets, not the least of which – as Todd points out – is the blanket ballot voting for the lazy and inattentive voters. Campaigning for Democrats in Indiana – as I saw in Texas – is a painful exercise in trying to overcome confirmation bias and whataboutism. So, how does ANY Democrat in Indiana convince enough of those folks who’d rather swallow razor blades than vote for a Democrat to vote with their brains and self-interests rather than the party line?

    Good luck with that, Hoosiers. Your cities better go 75% blue, or it’ll be back to having the intellectual dwarfs embarrassing themselves and your state again.

  7. I appreciate Sheila’s dedication and enthusiasm, but in order for any of the state democrat candidates to win they will need to rely on large infusions of cash from fellow Dems that are wealthy. Most residents in the rural areas/counties of IN continue to struggle financially. It has been notes many times on this blog that the good paying jobs brought into the state end up near the larger cities.

    Those of us in rural counties have become worn down after years of working hard to support great D candidates only to watch them lose by landslides to completely unqualified R candidates.

    Regarding small donations, the most aggravating thing for people with not much money to spare is this – once they make a donation they are constantly hounded for more money that they can’t afford to part with. It causes people to refuse to ever donate again.

    I worked on Jonathon Weinzapfel’s campaign four years ago. He was by far the best candidate for IN Attorney General. It didn’t matter – the republican voters made it clear that integrity, honesty and actually wanting to do the job were not important to them.

  8. I completely agree with Vernon’s comment –
    “ So, how does ANY Democrat in Indiana convince enough of those folks who’d rather swallow razor blades than vote for a Democrat to vote with their brains and self-interests rather than the party line?

    Good luck with that, Hoosiers. Your cities better go 75% blue, or it’ll be back to having the intellectual dwarfs embarrassing themselves and your state again.”

    The state level candidates are going to need every single urban D vote.

  9. I have shaken the hands of the three candidates Shelia has written about today as my daughter and I have attended several fund-raisers, and have especially come to know Destiny Wells, a truly outstanding candidate for the AG’s office currently held by the showboat Rokita. We have given money to all three candidates and will be giving more, of course, as all are in need of campaign funds if we are to keep the MAGAs out of power, power with heavy fascist and racist overtones as of late. We may be in a literal “Money or your life” situation, so let’s contribute to the party and candidates who believe in the blessings of democracy – and VOTE!

    It is unfortunate that money is required by candidates for public office, especially since Shelby and Citizens United which opened the floodgates for superrich funding of felon-led positions of power in the Oval Office and the House in exchange for tax cuts (speaking of terminal greed), but it is what it is, and if we are to save our democracy from a criminal who openly promises to end our Constitution and build concentration camps for immigrants (and others he may later decide oppose his self-interest), then we must respond with both our vote and our purse.

    Without a Constitution, the organic law of the land, there would be no Supreme Court, no Congress, no elections; only the executive power would survive, and this by fiat and seizure of power by a fascist dictator and not by the outmoded “will of the people,” since all such individual rights, privileges and immunities afforded by such then described “piece of paper” will be erased from history per order of the dictator.

    Have I overstated the problem out of political bias? I hope so, but I can only guess what the USA and the world would look like if Hitler had succeeded, and the foregoing is a short summary of such guesswork today as applied to the present scene – which could be worse as played out in time or, as I hope, I have overstated the authoritarian menace to our democracy, which as a system I often note is our most precious asset held in common, and one of the last few things worth dying for.

  10. I would also like to add that I am running for State Rep in District 35. This is my first venture into elected office because I was a federal employee and could not run for partisan political office under the Hatch Act. I am now retired and ready to run!! 🙂 I am an RN and retired from the VA after 17-years of service. You can learn more about me on my FB page and donate to my campaign via Act Blue. In the search box just type in Phil Gift and I pop right up! Also, any help or advise anyone can give would be greatly appreciated since I am new to all of this. Just a quick stump speech: I think this abortion ban is the biggest human rights violation since slavery!!

  11. Are we really equating the abilities of Jagger and Biden? I guess if one uses some kind of pseudo-science as proof that an 81 yr old entertainer could run the country. Comparing Jagger to Biden is a pedestrian argument. Apples to oranges.

    Jagger isn’t slurring his words. Jagger isn’t stumbling multitudes of occurrences. It’s a moot and asinine equation.

    You’ve become the establishment. Your party has become an anachronism. Genocide Joe Has To Go.

  12. Ian, speaking of asses… Joe Biden had to overcome an inherent stutter, not that your brain could tell the difference.

    It is clear that you are nothing more than a troll… a mindless one at that. As I said before, sonny, do you want to play a round of golf with this octogenarian for your house? Get a clue.

  13. Overcoming a stutter does not entitle one to be President at 81. There is nothing more to comment upon.

  14. People that mock stutterers are bullies, plain and simple.

    The 18-29 year olds will elect the Democrats so go to the universities in state! Have meet ups and conversations! Biden has done more for students than any President in my lifetime! Show them your views. Go Blue!

  15. I’m glad to hear your state has some very good candidates, and hope that that they can become very good officeholders. I was recently exposed to the political implications of the idea that people are social and emotional creature and that rationality is secondary. The corollary is that it’s not white papers (i.e. policy positions) that win elections, it’s social and emotional engagement between the candidate and the electorate. In this model, a politician’s actual positions are secondary, and so can be mutable. While money is important, its main value must be in getting the candidate’s personality “out there”, and generating enthusiasm. Short, punchy, statements, endlessly repeated – save the nuanced, complex answers for the website.

    For all his manifold failings, trump has a genuine talent for getting people whipped up and enthusiastic – and translating that enthusiasm into votes. A Republican operative noted back in 2016 that the enthusiasm difference between trump and Hillary campaign events was like night and day, and that it would cost her the election. Hillary appealed to people’s frontal lobes, trump to their lizard brain.

    I can certainly sympathize with those who feel that too many elections are decided even before the primaries, between gerrymandering that guarantees which party will win and the personality of the candidates which determines the winner of the primary. It’s not by accident that I leave out policy positions because at this point we’re reduced to a choice betwen MAGAnationalism or… not.

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