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Analyzing the Indiana Primary by County


Sign I taped to my car window; it’s a PDF, so feel free to download it and print it out.

As a Hoosier I find it fascinating to look at the Indiana results county by county, knowing this state much better than the talking heads on TV. I suppose they were reasonably well-prepared, but the best advice to tourists is still “Eat where the locals eat.” Dan Abrams on MSNBC particularly annoyed me; he should have been glad viewers had a reason to stay up and watch him.

No one in Indiana was surprised when Lake County waited till midnight to report. They always want to be the kingmakers to prove how important their non-Hoosier county is, so they always wait; the mayors hold back their results till they know what all the other cities have—in case they need to find 300 more votes for their candidate. The longtime mayor of East Chicago finally got ousted for bribing voters in a concrete-pouring scandal; new sidewalks and driveways for supporters, nothing for homeowners who wouldn’t trade their votes. Even the Catholic Church went along and got a new parking lot out of it. Lake County is all about bribes and corruption, which is why it isn’t Hoosier at all.

Still, Lake is only 26% Black, yet Obama carried 57% of the vote; that’s some White people! So what if they’re in Chicago’s media market? They like the guy.

Clinton won the White rural vote downstate. She was seen as the conservative candidate. The difference in her margin in the rural counties shows a geographic split; 60-40 in the north (2-1 in my home county of Newton, one south of Lake) and up to 75-25 in southern Indiana. I suspect some of that southern support has a racist tinge, as the Clintons repeatedly played the race card. (Maybe that’s true in northern rural counties too, but I hope not.)

Obama won the cities by amazing margins: Indianapolis better than 2-1. He got a lot of White votes in Marion County, which is only 26% Black. He also picked up two collar counties, Boone narrowly and rich, White, fast-growing Hamilton County 61-39. That Hamilton result stunned every Democrat in the state.

Obama won Fort Wayne, the second largest city, with 56%; it’s a mostly-White city, only 12% Black, with a Republican mayor. Doesn’t fit the pundits’ profile; Obama in a landslide.

He dominated the big college towns (Purdue and Indiana) in Tippecanoe and Monroe; that’s the youth and faculty vote joining the townies. He won South Bend, with a much smaller university (Notre Dame) and a large industrial base. He won neighboring Elkhart County, which is industrial and agricultural; Elkhart County has $121 million in assessed ag value, ranking #2 in the state.

Down south he won Switzerland County, which is 99% White, 3-1, while next-door neighbor Ohio County (98% White) went 4-1 for Clinton. I don’t know anyone with an explanation for that—unless some great volunteers in Switzerland County made the difference.

Obama won rural Steuben County (98% White, Angola’s the county seat) in the northeast corner 56-44, another anomaly. Yay, Steuben and Switz!

Thus world-famous Hillary Clinton won backward Indiana by 11,000 votes out of 1.26 million cast, a week after Barack Obama hit rock bottom. Not an impressive showing for the kitchen-sink strategy of the Gentlewoman from Arkansas and New York.

You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time; but you can’t fool Hoosiers. The next President of the United States is Barack Obama.++

2 Responses

  1. I said it before… The best man wearing the trousers is not a woman!

  2. Obama had every opportunity to finish off Sen. Clinton in the debates prior to Ohio and Texas, but he repeatedly backed off. I wouldn’t have. He should have knocked her out, put her on the mat, but he wouldn’t do it; because she’s a woman or because of his “new kind of politics,” I’m not sure. I fault him for it. I don’t want a president who lacks a killer instinct, anymore than I want a president who can’t control his killer instinct.

    Fact is, he let her back into the race. She then proceeded to win both states, plus Pennsylvania, Indiana and West Virginia.

    She voted for the Iraq War, sending 4000 Americans to meaningless deaths so she could look “strong on defense,” and he’s definitely a flawed candidate. The American people have repudiated this grotesque, endless war, but he’s unwilling to slam her down for it. Thus she ends up looking like the one who wears the pants.

    He’s a basketball player; I expect my president to go all out for the win. If he can’t do it he may not be worthy of being president (though God knows, neither is she). McCain is weak, damaged, shopworn, and I can’t see him winning either; it seems Obama is far more willing to be aggressive towards a man than towards a woman.

    The psychological key to this election may be Obama’s deep, slightly chauvinist respect for women; i.e., his heterosexuality. I’d have slammed Clinton into the floor. I know how tough women can be; I’m the son of one.

    If and when the race gets down to two men, I’m betting on the 40-something athlete, not the tired old man. Meanwhile Obama needs to learn not to treat women differently; after her huge miscalculations pre-Iowa (she came in third), Hillary’s run a brilliant if unprincipled race. I don’t believe in her for a second, but God is she good.

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