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Tuesday, October 25, 2016
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Monday, October 24, 2016 8:53 AM
CNHI Statehouse Bureau

INDIANAPOLIS – Conservative Catholic radio host Gail Buckley, known as the “Bible Lady” to her national audience, has never really trusted Donald Trump. She worries that if he is elected his volatile temper and access to the nuclear code “could get us all blown up.”
The recently released contents of a 2005 audio tape, capturing him lewdly bragging of sexually assaulting women, horrified her more. It left the reliably Republican-voting Buckley in what she called a “huge struggle” over how to justify her vote.
But as an ardent opponent of abortion, she’s resolved now. It’s Trump. “I could never vote for Hillary Clinton or an administration that promotes abortion,” she said. “I’m concerned about voting for Trump. But there’s just no other choice for me.”
Catholic voters nationwide are facing a similar dilemma. Church teachings are firm that there is no other issue more important than respect for human life, which church catechism says begins at conception.
Trump, damaged by controversy and battling the expanding divisions within his own party, needs to keep Catholic voters like Buckley as he slips further behind his Democratic opponent.
The current Real Clear Politics average of polls puts Clinton ahead by almost 6 points. No past presidential candidate this far behind in the campaign has managed to make up a deficit that large in the national polls.
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    NASHVILLE, Ind. - Hoosier voters face not only a compelling vote for president that will have a national impact, but their decision on who becomes the next U.S. senator could determine which party controls that chamber. The choice between Democrat Evan Bayh and Republican U.S. Rep. Todd Young merits considerable thought. Bayh is the former two-term governor and senator who, along with Mitch Daniels, has done more than just about anyone else to shape the modern political contours of our state. He opened his political career in Indiana with the sting of defeat, managing his father’s last Senate campaign for this very seat. It was a two-term congressman, Dan Quayle, who ended Birch Bayh’s political career in the Reagan revolution year of 1980. Evan Bayh emerged four years later as secretary of state, then commenced a 16-year Democratic dominance in the governor’s office by defeating Lt. Gov. John Mutz in 1988.

    INDIANAPOLIS – U.S. Senate candidate Evan Bayh stood on a debate stage Tuesday night, facing accusations from his opponent that he’s a Washington insider who has lost his status as a Hoosier. It was familiar territory for him. In 1988, when running for governor, the Democrat Bayh defended himself against a Republican lawsuit that claimed the year-and-half he spent working in the nation’s capital disqualified him from seeking Indiana’s top office. Bayh weathered the storm, handily winning the race to end the GOP’s 20-year hold on the governor’s office. Now he’s hoping to retire the residency question again. A poll released just before Tuesday’s only debate among the Senate candidates shows voters may not care that Bayh has been living in Washington for the last six years. The Hoosier Survey found 71 percent of voters did not see Bayh’s residency as an issue. Only 21 percent said it would affect their decision of who should represent the state in the Senate. “It’s hard to say he’s not a Hoosier. He’s got the pedigree,” said political science professor Joe Losco, of Ball State University, which commissioned the poll with WISH-TV.
    BLOOMINGTON – We should change the nature of presidential debates to put control of the process on the voters’ side, and not let the candidates get away with fluff. We’re in the middle of the presidential debates, and not surprisingly, they’re drawing viewers in great numbers. The contest is close, and the chance to watch the two candidates spar with one another face to face makes for entertaining television. This is hardly a bad thing. Overall, presidential debates are a plus for the public dialogue. They get tremendous coverage throughout the media universe, both while they’re taking place and in the days that follow. They let the voters see the candidates under pressure and gauge their performance. As scripted as they can sometimes seem, they still let us watch the candidates think on their feet. They’re serious events, and are certainly more substantive than campaign speeches and television commercials. It’s true that they don’t usually change the trajectory of a race, although we won’t know until election night whether this year’s debates played a role in the outcome. They can reinforce enthusiasm, but it’s rare that they create it from scratch. Yet I think our focus on debates, at least in the form they currently take, is misplaced. It’s not so much that they reward one-upmanship, a quick wit, and clever zingers, although they do. Rather, I think they don’t actually help us make a good choice.
    KOKOMO – Indiana deserves a better United States senator than Evan Bayh. Although I may be accused of using trite political rhetoric, I assure you, my motives and words are sincere. I have five reasons why Evan Bayh should not be elected to the Senate. First, and perhaps most important, Evan Bayh was a totally ineffective senator for 12 years.  The “boy governor” turned “boy senator” was so focused on riding a Senate seat to the White House that he assiduously avoided saying anything or taking any legislative stands that might raise any political angst in either conservative Indiana or in the liberal bastions of the liberal left coasts. Don’t believe me? Stuart Rothenberg from the Washington Post wrote critically of Evan Bayh and quoted James Hohmann from the Power Post: “One of the many reasons that so many of his Democratic colleagues did not like Evan Bayh during his tenure in the Senate was his excessive caution."
    INDIANAPOLIS – The campaigns for governor and 125 seats in the General Assembly are winding down. We’ll be relieved soon from the slurs and insults of competing camps. Commercials will return to products supposed to make us regular again. The big question of these elections is, “Will anything be done by state government to make Indiana more attractive as a place to live and a place to run a business?” Every candidate told us s/he has a plan. That’s wonderful. But plans don’t do well in our legislature because most Hoosiers believe we don’t have any real problems and they elect people who agree with them. Our state government tells us how fine life is here and most of our news media print and broadcast all the good news they can find in self-serving press releases. However, Indiana is trending down relative to other states. We currently rank as the 16th most populous state, with 6.6 million residents. We gained 136,000 since the Census of 2010 (22nd among the 50 states), which translates to a 2.1 percent increase (32nd) compared to the national growth rate of 4.1 percent.
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  • Tsnami Warning: Trump nose dive could bring collateral damage
    NASHVILLE, Ind. – We’ve all watched arguably the worst month any presidential candidate has had since the summer of 1972 when George McGovern had to jettison his running mate. As Donald Trump spirals away with Mike Pence in tow, the question now is what kind of down-ballot carnage, if any, follows. On the Indiana scene, this renewed HPI Tsunami Warning has the potential to impact four races: Governor, U.S. Senate, and the 2nd and 9th CDs. In the 9th, a new poll by Normington Petts gives Republican Trey Hollingsworth just a 40-38% lead over Democrat Shelli Yoder, while the House Majority PAC began a $640,000 buy on her behalf Wednesday, Daily Kos reported. It starts with the presidential race where three polls in October show the Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson race hovering around the margin of error. The latest was the Ball State/WISH Indiana Survey, which had Trump leading 43-37% with Johnson at 9%. A Monmouth Poll last week had Trump leading Clinton 45 to 41%, while the WTHR/Howey Politics Indiana Poll of Oct. 3-5 had Trump up 43-38% with Johnson at 11%. Clinton gained 2% from our September poll. The question moving forward is whether Johnson stays at 11%, or whether Clinton and pick up some of that support.
  • HPI Analysis: Trump/Pence down the rigged election rabbit hole
    INDIANAPOLIS – For more than an hour last night, Donald Trump had his steadiest, most coherent debate against Hillary Clinton. Then moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News twice asked him if he was prepared to accept the verdict of the voters. “I will look at it at the time,” Trump responded. “It is so bad. The media is so bad, the piling on is so bad.” Pressed by Wallace again, Trump said, “I will tell you at the time. I will keep you in suspense.” Thus, Trump did what no other major party presidential nominee has ever done, set in motion the prospect of political chaos and destabilization that could undermine the nation’s most prestigious institution: Elections and the peaceful transfer of power. It was a direct contradiction just minutes before the debate from Gov. Mike Pence, who told NBC News “Well, I think Donald Trump’s gonna be elected president of the United States and I know he’ll absolutely accept the outcome of this election.”
  • HPI Interview: Sec. Lawson on vote fraud, probes, hacks & rigs
    INDIANAPOLIS – On Sept. 30, with allegations that the Russian government is trying to discredit and destabilize the American presidential election and with FBI Director James Comey advising states to “dead bolt” their systems, Howey Politics Indiana reached out to Secretary of State Connie Lawson to gauge her confidence in Indiana’s process. “We check every log-in,” Lawson explained. “We’ve had 15 million log-ins and we’ve checked every one. We have not had any from the URL that were in the FBI alert.” On Tuesday, Lawson alerted the public of another potential voter fraud investigation and wouldn’t rule out linking it to the Patriot Majority probe, but she seemed to rule out any connection to the Russian hacking of systems similar to what has occurred in Arizona and Illinois. With the Republican president ticket of Donald Trump and Gov. Mike Pence alleging a “rigged” system, and with Trump citing potential voter fraud in large cities, it was time to get an assessment from Lawson and where things stand less than three weeks before the Nov. 8 election
  • Rollicking Bayh/Young debate finds Obamacare battlefield

    INDIANAPOLIS – Democrat Evan Bayh and Republican Todd Young engaged in a rollicking and consequential debate, sparring over Obamacare, trade and resumes in the only U.S. Senate showdown in a race that could determine control of the U.S. Senate. Libertarian Lucy Brenton made a spirited entry on the political scene, though it will be either Bayh or Young who will take office next January in what could become the state’s second $50 million race in the past four years. U.S. Rep. Young unleashed a persistent attack, repeatedly saying that Bayh cast the deciding vote in March 2010 for Obamacare, just a month after the Democrat dropped a bombshell saying he wouldn’t seek a third term. That was delayed until last July, when Bayh made an improbable re-entry, replacing Baron Hill on the ballot. Young characterized Obamacare as the “largest tax increase in history,” made possible by Bayh’s vote.

  • Lawson now says 'fraud' has altered voter registration


    INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson is now saying that “thousands” of voter dates of births and first names have been altered in the state’s voter registration system and says it may be due to "voter fraud." The news comes after Lawson assured Howey Politics Indiana on Sept. 30 that the system could not be compromised. It came after FBI Director James Comey told Congress and the states to be sure they have “deadbolt locks on their systems."
    This morning, Lawson said, “We ran a report in the Statewide Voter Registration System and found thousands of dates of births and first names were changed. These records were changed on paper forms, at the BMV and online. At this time, my office is not sure why these records were changed, but we have evaluated the Statewide Voter Registration System and have found no indication it has been compromised. We believe this may be a case of voter fraud and have turned our findings over to the State Police, who are currently conducting an investigation into alleged voter fraud.”

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  • Senior Republicans say Trump tied with Clinton in Indiana
    “Senior GOP Senate strategist: Trump now tied in Indiana. Down 11 in PA and 14 in NH. Going down hard.” - CNBC and New York Times analyst John Harwood in a tweet. Analysts Ben Ginsburg and Michael Steele said on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" today that Indiana is emerging as a bellwether state in this landslide scenario. HPI’s Brian Howey noted in his podcast last week that if Indiana tightens up in the presidential race, expect Gov. Mike Pence to start scheduling campaign appearances in his home state to avoid what would be an epic embarrassment.
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HPI Video Feed
Obama chides Republicans for Trump support
President Obama chides Republicans for backing Donald Trump for President in this NBC video.

Correct The Record ties Young to Trump
Correct The Record PAC attempts to tie Republican Senate nominee Todd Young to presidential nominee Donald Trump.

2 videos
HPI Horse Race
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Trump taxes

Should Donald Trump release recent tax returns, like every major party nominee has done over the past 40 years?


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