U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (top) appears to be the lone Congressional incumbent in Indiana facing a credible challenge, coming from Democrat Joe Bock (right in second photo). U.S. Reps. Susan Brooks, Todd Young and Larry Bucshon - all facing potential primary or general election challenges - all have towering money leads in the fourth quarter 2013 Federal Election Commission filings.
U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (top) appears to be the lone Congressional incumbent in Indiana facing a credible challenge, coming from Democrat Joe Bock (right in second photo). U.S. Reps. Susan Brooks, Todd Young and Larry Bucshon - all facing potential primary or general election challenges - all have towering money leads in the fourth quarter 2013 Federal Election Commission filings.
By BRIAN A. HOWEY

INDIANAPOLIS - Despite Congressional approval at historic lows and more and more voters saying they are willing to throw their own congressman to the curb, Hoosier Democratic and Republican challengers are showing very little traction when it comes to funding their campaigns.

Incumbent Republicans holding seven seats have raised $4.12 million for the 2014 cycle, compared to under $250,000 for all of the Democrats filed for challenges. In Howey Politics Indiana's Horse Race, all of the Indiana incumbents are rated "Safe" for reelection with the exception of the 2nd CD. Indiana's May primary filing deadline comes at noon Friday.

Only one race appears to be materializing: Democrat Joe Bock's challenge to freshman U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski in the 2nd CD. But there Bock's fledgling campaign raised expectations with media reports that he had raised $203,000, only to report $173,000 on his year ending 2013 Federal Election Commission report that included a $30,000 loan from the candidate to his campaign on Dec. 31. Bock, who heads Notre Dame University’s Global Health Training Program, reported $182,000 rash on hand.

Walorski, who won an unexpectedly close 2012 race against Democrat Brendan Mullen by less than 4,000 votes and with 49% of the vote, posted a robust $180,000 for the fourth quarter, $944,000 raised for the cycle, and $626,000 cash on hand. Mullen opted not to seek a rematch with Walorski. Bock faces Democrat Dan Morrison in the primary. Morrison did not file an FEC report. The Cook Partisan Index rates the 2nd CD as +6 Republican, and HPI's Horse Race rates this race a "Likely" for Walorski at this point. That rating could change, particularly if the constitutional marriage amendment ends up on the November 2014 ballot.

The only other supposedly serious challenger candidate - former Democratic Seymour mayor and state representative Bill Bailey - filed an underwhelming report in his bid to challenge U.S. Rep. Todd Young, R-Bloomington. Bailey raised less than $6,000, much of it in-kinds and loans from the candidates, Bailey's campaign now carries a debt load ($2,200) that is nearly three times his cash-on-hand figure ($800). As of Friday, three other Democrats - James R. McClure, William Joseph "Billy" Thomas and J.S. Miller - had filed for the primary, but none of them filed an FEC report.

In the 8th CD, where Club For Growth had targeted U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-Newburgh, to be "primaried," not only does the two-term Republican have a healthy war chest, but credible challengers do not exist. Bucshon raised $211,000 for the fourth quarter, posted $615,000 for the cycle and has $430,000 cash on hand. Republican Andrew McNeil posted $14,000 for the quarter and cycle, and $6,000 cash on hand. Democrats William Bryk and Tom Spangler have filed candidacies, but did not post an FEC report.

In the 5th CD, where Tea Party activists such as Greg Fettig have sought a challenger for freshman Republican U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Carmel, the incumbent raised $131,000 for the quarter, $714,000 for the cycle and has $555,000 cash on hand. Primary challenger David Stockdale raised $1,765 for the quarter, $13,000 for the cycle and has $7,000 cash on hand. Democrats Allen Ray Davidson, reported $123 for the quarter and cycle and has $4,155 in debt, and David William Ford, did not file an FEC report.

The lack of traction comes as Democrats found themselves with an unpopular President Obama and his second mid-term election where the party of the incumbent usually fares poorly. The tortured roll out of Obamacare is also a key reason many Democrats opted not to run in 2014 both here in Indiana and nationally.

Congress' average approval this year has not only been the worst in Gallup history, but it also included the single lowest monthly approval rating of 9% in November. Congress approval edged back up slightly to a still-dismal 12% in December. The "high" point for the year was 19% in September. Thus, 2013 is the only year in Gallup's history in which all monthly readings were below 20%, with the exceptions of 1979 and 1992, when Gallup took only one measure of congressional job approval each year. Americans' low evaluations of Congress appear to be a "new normal," with average ratings below 20% in each of the last four years, including an average approval of 14% in 2013 -- the lowest in Gallup's 39-year history of this measure.

A national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Oct. 9-13, 2013 among 1,504 adults, found that nearly three-quarters (74%) of registered voters would like to see most members of Congress defeated; during the 2010 and 2006 election cycles, which both culminated in shifts in control of the House, no more than 57% in each of these two cycles wanted most members of Congress not to be reelected. Moreover, the share saying they do not want their own representative reelected – 38% – is as high as it has been in two decades.

Here are FEC totals from the other five Indiana Congressional Districts:

1st CD: U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville: $64K Raised Quarter, $485K Raised Cycle, $308K Cash On Hand; Republican Mark Leyva: No report filed.

3rd CD: U.S. Rep.  Marlin Stutzman, R-Howe: $103K Raised Quarter, $632K Raised Cycle, $344K COH; Jim Mahoney, Republican, no report filed. Democrata Justin Kuhnle and Jim Redmond, did not file reports.

4th CD: U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Indianapolis: $285K Raised Quarter, $718K Raised Cycle, $1.088M COH. Democrats John Dale and Howard Joseph Pollchik did not file reports. Rokita's 2012 Democrat challenger, Tara Nelson, pulled out of the race in late January.

6th CD: U.S. Rep. Luke Messer, R-Shelbyville: $142K Raised Quarter, $580K Raised Cycle, $327K COH; Lane Siekman, D-Rising Sun, did not file a report.

7th CD: U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, D-Indianapolis: $137K Raised Quarter, $544K Raised Cycle, $513K COH; Democrat Curtis Godfrey, no report filed; Republicans Erin Kent Magee, J.D. Miniear, Gordon Smith, and Catherine "Cat" Ping did not file reports.