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!