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Monday, May 30, 2016
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Thursday, October 15, 2015 9:20 AM
By BRIAN A. HOWEY
    
INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mike Pence kicked off the infrastructure debate with a $1 billion proposal to repair state highways, interstates and bridges. Local government officials want the governor and General Assembly to take it several steps further, and provide what the Indiana Association of Cities & Towns calls a “sustainable” funding source. IACT President Matthew Greller told Howey Politics Indiana on Wednesday that the Pence plan is a good start. “The big thing is it’s good the administration is addressing infrastructure in a very serious way with a very serious proposal and a lot of money. But it includes no money for city and town streets and county roads. I’m disappointed because the vast majority of road miles in Indiana are maintained by local governments.”
  • 8th CD Democrat recount approved, but date undetermined
    By THOMAS CURRY

    INDIANAPOLIS - There will be a recount in the 8th CD Democratic primary where David Orentlicher trails Ron Drake, the Indiana Recount Commission decided on Thursday, but when it will occur is unknown, which drew the ire on the leading vote-getter  A second recount will take place in Senate District 36, where Jesse Kharbanda trails Sean Gorman by 37 votes for the Democratic nomination.  Drake holds a narrow 53 vote lead overOrentlicher to be the Democratic nominee to face off against Republican Larry Bucshon in November. Both Kharbanda and Orentlicher were represented by attorney Bill Groth, who repeated throughout the commission meeting the “inevitably of human error” that is inherit in the vote counting process.
  • Gregg elevates Rep. Hale to the Democratic ticket
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - Democratic gubernatorial nominee John Gregg used his first critical decision of the post-primary campaign to bring State Rep. Christina Hale to his ticket, seeking to exploit Gov. Mike Pence’s poor standing with women as well as to tap into a new generation of leadership in the party. Hale, a two-term Indianapolis legislator who was born and raised in Michigan City, vowed to use a position of influence in state government to work on paycheck and the exploitation of Hoosier women and girls, one in six who face sexual assault before reaching adulthood. Last year, Hale contemplated a U.S. Senate candidacy before opting to seek reelection.

  • INSen: Todd Young talks Trump and his rematch with Baron Hill
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY
        
    INDIANAPOLIS – Democrat Baron Hill plans to hold his Republican U.S. Senate opponent Todd Young “accountable” is issues raised by presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump. Young has said he will support the Republican nominee. Young told Howey Politics Indiana on Tuesday, “As I’ve said before, I don’t think we can afford a third term for Barack Obama. That’s exactly what we’d get if Hillary Clinton is the next president. I’m going to support the Republican, but at the same time I’m going to be focused on holding onto this U.S. Senate seat. It could come down to control of the U.S. Senate. Frankly, I’m not spending a lot of time discussing other races.” HPI asked Young about Trump’s proposal from last December, which apparently has morphed into a “suggestion” that Muslims be banned entry into the United States. Does he agree with the Trump stance?
  • HPI Interview: Baron Hill surveys big dollar race against Young
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY
        
    INDIANAPOLIS – Twenty-six years after he ran a close race against U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, Democrat Baron Hill is making a second run for the upper chamber. In the intervening quarter century, the Citizens United decision has dramatically altered the political finance system and the former congressman faces the man who defeated him in the 9th CD six years ago in Todd Young. We sat down with Hill in the HPI offices on Tuesday, giving him the opportunity to survey the political and financial landscape in a race that may have already crested the $10 million mark, coming on the heels of the last U.S. Senate race in 2012 where $50 million was spent. Hill said that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has just elevated his race to its priority list.
  • Hammond, Bopp rematch for Indiana RNC post
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - A rematch is taking shape for one of the Indiana Republican National Committee slots as former committeeman Jim Bopp Jr., will challenge current Committeeman John Hammond III. He confirmed to HPI on Wednesday that not only will he seek the post again, but will support Donald Trump for president. Last year, Hammond had called Trump “unfit” for office. Hammond told HPI he can better influence events by seeking the post again and supporting Trump. He said he has surveyed the CD chairs and vice chairs. “I feel real good about the support,” said Hammond, who defeated Bopp in June 2012. Bopp had suggested a “litmus test” for Republicans prior to that contest. In an email he sent to Indiana Republican Central Committee members on Wednesday, Bopp wrote, “I believe that our Nation and our Party face one of the most critical challenges in our history.
  • Bellwether Poll: Omnious numbers for Pence reelection bid
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY
        
    INDIANAPOLIS  – The first post-primary poll shows Gov. Mike Pence in serious jeopardy for reelection. The flash poll conducted by Bellwether Research on behalf of Bill Oesterle’s Free Enterprise PAC shows that while Pence leads Democrat John Gregg 40-36%, with Libertarian Rex Bell at 2%, the governor lags behind or is tied with the Democrat in several issue categories and in job approval. This flash poll of 600 likely voters was conducted by Bellwether pollster Christine Matthews May 11-15 and has a +/-4% margin of error. Matthews tweeted on Wednesday that 71% of the poll was via cellphones. And in the most unsettled element to Gov. Pence’s reelect, the poll had a plus 12% Republican makeup, 39-27%. “This is a Republican sample,” said Oesterle, who heads the Free Enterprise political action committee. He formed that PAC following the Religious Freedom Restoration Act controversy in March and April 2015. “When you look at the cross tabs, the governor is underperforming in every category.”
        
  • Orentlicher files for 8th CD Democratic recount
    By THOMAS CURRY

    INDIANAPOLIS - David Orentlicher filed for a recount Tuesday after a tight primary election against Ron Drake in the 8th CD Democratic primary. The Democratic hopefuls found themselves locked in a race decided by 64 votes with the number shrinking to 54 after provisional ballots were counted. Orentlicher, on the wrong end of the .1% difference, told Howey Politics Indiana that he plans to “go through with the recount” going on further to call it a “statistical dead heat well within the margin of error.” Orentlicher hopes that the recount process will help to find accurate results for the people of the 8th CD. Indiana and the 8th CD are no strangers to close elections.

  • HPI Analysis: Money, super PACs, shakeup doomed Stutzman
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY
        
    INDIANAPOLIS – Marlin Stutzman’s second Senate race defeat came about in a kind of perfect storm scenario. He entered the race with the tacit promise of support from Club For Growth. He changed consulting teams at a time when the Donald Trump presidential campaign began impacting the race and there were communication and strategic differences prompting that Super PAC to stay on the sidelines, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell threw his machine into Todd Young’s corner. Eric Holcomb left the race in March to become lieutenant governor. And the Associated Press ran two stories in the final two weeks of the campaign that left the three-term congressman with little time to react. Essentially starved for money, it all crashed on May 3 with a 67-33% drubbing by fellow congressman Todd Young. “It was Mitch McConnell and all that money that just came in,” Stutzman told Howey Politics Indiana on Tuesday.
  • HPI Horse Race: Little chance that Indiana House majority shifts
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY
        
    INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana House Republican super majority could be hanging in the balance on Nov. 8, but Speaker Brian Bosma isn’t going to be losing too much sleep over the notion of a “Speaker Scott Pelath,” even if a Trumpian disaster unfolds for the GOP. The Indiana House Horse Race begins with five seats in the “tossup zone,” all held by Republicans. In addition, there are another five seats that in a neutral political year would “lean Republican” (and one Democratic seat) but could be susceptible to an anti-Trump wave impacting down-ballot races. With Republicans holding a towering 71-29 advantage, at this first analysis, the super majority status could be in jeopardy by Democrats picking up four seats. A clean sweep would put Republican control in the 60-40 range, something the GOP achieved in the 2010 wave year. Another three Republican seats are “likely” for the incumbent. The rest are considered “safe” for incumbents. 
  • HPI Analysis: 2016 GOP campaigns pale to those of Obama
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS – After a grueling week of candidate rallies and speeches, I ended up on a friend’s patio on the Sunday before the May 3 Indiana primary. Peering into the sky, a jet came into view and as it crossed the horizon, I could see a “T” logo on the tail wing. Donald Trump’s corporate jet was on a descent, for a rally that evening in Terre Haute. Trump won Indiana with 53% of the vote and he did it with bombastic rhetoric, an emphatic endorsement from Bobby Knight, an active Twitter account and impressive rallies in Indianapolis, Carmel, South Bend, Evansville and Fort Wayne. That big victory overcame Indiana Republican Central Committee delegate selection that favored Ted Cruz and John Katich. Cruz had what was to be a vaulted ground game, the endorsement of Gov. Mike Pence, a deal with John Kasich, a team of surrogates who barnstormed the state.

  • HPI Analysis: The GOP dilemma of endorsing Donald Trump
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    NASHVILLE, Ind. - Just hours after 53% of Hoosier Republicans voted for Donald Trump in the decisive Indiana primary, Gov. Mike Pence and U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita lined up behind the Manhattan billionaire. Pence said in Terre Haute on Thursday, “I'm going to campaign hard for the Republican nominee because Indiana needs a partner in the White House. I look forward to supporting our presumptive nominee. I think Donald Trump will do very well in the Hoosier State.” And Rokita, speaking to Rossville High School students on the same day, responded to a question, “I do support Donald Trump for president and that's because for no other reason than it's all relative to other choices in the race.”
  • HPI Analysis: Pence takes another Cruz on divisive social issues

    By BRIAN A. HOWEY
        
    INDIANAPOLIS – For Gov. Mike Pence, the presidential maelstrom that roared through the state has left him, at least temporarily, twisting, twisting, twisting in the political winds. He found himself in the national glare last weekend, first with his squishy endorsement of the Ted Cruz presidential campaign on Friday, then new NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist job approval numbers that had him at 43/43%. Those are ominous numbers for an incumbent Republican in the Hoosier state this late in the cycle. They reinforced the fav/unfav numbers in the WTHR/Howey Politics Polls of April 18-21 that had Pence at 44/41% and 71/22% among Republicans. And the right/track wrong/track numbers are equally bad, 44/45% among the general electorate and 61/29% for Republicans. The poll also showed Pence favorability at 59% in the Republican-rich doughnut counties.
        

  • HPI Analysis: An epic and bizarre coda to the Indiana primary
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY
        
    INDIANAPOLIS –  When the dust settled on one of the most bizarre political sequences in modern Indiana history, Hoosier Republican voters had mostly settled the Republican presidential race for Donald Trump while prolonging the primary slog for Hillary Clinton with Bernie Sanders’ 53-47% victory. The Indiana primary ended on a frenzied week-long pace as four candidates and an ex-president courted Hoosiers at more than 50 rallies and retail stops. In the final crescendo, this epic drama became surreal as Donald Trump used a National Enquirer article to allege that Ted Cruz’s father was involved with Lee Harvey Oswald in the assassination of President Kennedy. It came at a time when Republicans took a second, long look at Trump, hoping to see a future president. Instead, they got a tabloid reality star on the verge of a landslide victory who didn’t know when to let up.
        
  • Young defeats Stutzman; Banks, Hollingsworth win open CDs
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - Todd Young won an emphatic Republican U.S. Senate primary Tuesday night and will now prepare for a rematch with Democratic Baron Hill. “As a Marine, I can sum it up in one word: Boorah!” Young said in the Victory Ballroom of the Hilton Hotel in Indianapolis Tuesday night. Young was leading Stutzman 67-33% with 87% of Indiana precincts reporting. “I had confidence from the beginning this was going to be a team effort, and you didn’t let me down,” Young told several hundred supporters. “All of you are here today because we share our common sense Hoosier values,” Young said. “This was a hard fought race. I think it’s appropriate we stop, we pause, and we recognize how much we respect Marlin Stutzman.” Young told his supporters, “The world is a dangerous place and you can’t turn your back on the world. You deserve a U.S. Senator who understands that fundamental principle.” He added that “Baron Hill is prepared to put his lobbying career on hold.”
  • Sanders rallies an embattled Hoosier middle class on election eve
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - Somewhere in the universe, Eugene Debs was smiling over Monument Circle. There, on a cool, damp election eve, socialist U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke of a revolution before some 10,000 Hoosiers disgusted by the decline of the American middle class. Sanders spoke as the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll showed him trailing Hillary Clinton in the Indiana Democratic presidential primary 50-46%, a race within the margin of error. Sanders insisted that the margin of financial error for millions of Hoosiers and Americans has vanished. “Hey Indy, are you ready for a revolution?” Sanders said as the statue “Victory” high atop the Soldiers and Sailors Monument rose above him, and yet below the Chase Tower, the Hoosier State's tallest skyscraper. “We have won 17 primaries and caucuses. I have a feeling that with your support we’re going to make it No. 18.” Scanning the crowd filled with young people, Sanders said, “What it means is our ideas are the future of America. Our ideas are the future of the Democratic Party.”

  • Pence campaigns with Cruz in Marion, Fort Wayne

    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - After a weekend of criticism over what was roundly described as a tepid and half-hearted endorsement, Gov. Mike Pence hit the campaign trail with Ted Cruz. The two Republicans worked a large crowd at a Marion restaurant mid-day Monday. Asked about the Pence endorsement, Cruz said, “It’s incredibly important. Every year he’s cut taxes and reduced regulation. We need to bring this type of conservatism to Washington.” As the two Republicans wound through the crowd, Pence was asked about his support of Cruz, “I think this is the time for choosing. It’s wonderful people of Indiana have a chance to play a leading role," Pence said. "My choice is Ted Cruz but I’m really looking forward to the polls opening tomorrow and Indiana getting its say.”
    In an interview a short time later with NBC's Hallie Jackson, Pence said, "I am extremely impressed with his knowledge of the Constitution and the liberties enshrined there, the 2nd Amendment and his commitment to the sanctity of life. All of these are reasons why I have chosen to support Ted Cruz. How Hoosiers across the state are in the process of making up their own minds and Hoosiers have a tendency to do that and I respect that. For me, for my part, I want people to know I am supporting Ted Cruz in the Indiana primary."

  • Hillary assails Trump, Cruz in final pitch to Hoosier voters
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - Hillary Clinton made her closing case for a second Indiana Democratic presidential primary victory at an east side Indianapolis park gym Sunday afternoon, vowing to defend Obamacare, push for gun reforms and policies to spur manufacturing growth. It comes as the former senator and secretary of state is leading Bernie Sanders by just 50 to 46% margin in an NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll released Sunday morning. That poll also showed Republican Donald Trump leading Ted Cruz 49-34%. Clinton poked at her potential Republican rivals, saying that violence at Donald Trump rallies reminded her of a “faraway country,” adding, “Enough! Enough!” She ridiculed Ted Cruz’s plan to patrol Muslim neighborhoods as an anti-terror method, calling it “dangerous talk.” She reminded the crowd of about 500 at Douglass Park that it wasn’t so long ago that 23 million jobs were created, wages were rising and crime was falling. “I remember the 1990s when a Clinton was president,” the former First Lady said as the crowd erupted in cheers. “What happened? Well, one thing that happened was we got a Republican president. We ended up in one of the worst financial crisis.”
  • NBC/WSJ/Marist Poll has Trump up 15% in Indiana

    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - A new NBC/Wall Street Jounrla/Marist Poll shows Donald Trump expanding his lead in Indiana, 49-34% with Ohio Gov. John Kasich comes in at 13%. Trump's lead has expanded since the April 18-21 survey by WTHR/Howey Politics Indiana which had Trump leading 37-31. In the Hoosier State's Democratic contest, Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by just four points, 50 to 46%.
    "In Indiana, Trump is positioned to corral all the [state's 57] delegates, which will be a big prize toward winning the nomination outright," Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion told NBC News. "Clinton and Sanders are more likely to divide the delegate pool, which will do little to change the narrative on the Democratic side." Since the WTHR/Howey Poll, Trump has held two massive rallies in Indiana drawing more than 20,000 people with former Indiana University coach Bobby Knight, while Cruz has focused on a classic ground game, cut a deal with Kasich, picked Carl Fiorina for a potential ticket, and received a tepid endorsement from Gov. Mike Pence.

  • WTHR/Howey Poll: Translating prez race to Congressional Districts

    By KYLE KONDIK and GEOFFREY SKELLEY
    Sabato’s Crystal Ball

        
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – One could not be blamed for looking at the Republican primary results over the past 10 days and questioning how someone could stop Donald Trump from being the Republican nominee. But a look at the delegate math suggests that the race is not over yet. As we laid out after New York, the roadmap to a Trump delegate majority involved big wins in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states that voted this past Tuesday. To be sure, Trump’s wins were larger than the polling averages suggested, just like the Empire State primary a week earlier: He generally ran several points ahead of his polling in these states and ran slightly ahead of our delegate roadmap.
    But as things stand, all paths to 1,237 delegates for Trump run through Indiana and California. And the Hoosier State primary on May 3 is ground zero for the anti-Trump forces if they want to trip up the real estate mogul and reality TV star. If Trump wins statewide in Indiana, which is winner-take-all statewide and by congressional district, he would remain on pace to cross the majority threshold.

  • Pence to vote for Cruz, Trump camp says Gov risks reelection bid

    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    NASHVILLE, Ind. - Gov. Mike Pence said he will vote for Sen. Ted Cruz in Tuesday’s presidential primary. “I see Ted Cruz as a principled conservative who has spent his year advocating the Reagan agenda,” Pence said on WIBC’s “Garrison Show” just after noon today. “I really admire the way Ted Cruz has been ready to stand up for taxpayers and against runaway spending.” Still to be determined is whether Pence will hit the campaign trail with Cruz, the way Carly Fiorina has been making appearances with Cruz. Pence said there are discussions to do just that with the Cruz campaign.
    Reaction to the endorsement was described as "tepid" and "less than full-throated." It comes as Pence is is locked in a 49-45% race against Democrat John Gregg in the WTHR/Howey Politics Indiana Poll while his fav/unfav stands at 44/41% and the Indiana right/wrong track is at 44/45%. Trump campaign Indiana vice chairman Tony Samuel, reacted to the Pence nod, telling Howey Politics Indiana, "I don't think this changes a single vote. If anything, it could add votes for Donald Trump. And the only real political impact this will have is that it could hurt the Governor's reelection effort."


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  • Trump assails 'Mexican' judge hearing Trump U. case
    “I’ll be seeing you in November, either as president. I think Judge Curiel should be ashamed of himself. I think it’s a disgrace that he’s doing this. The judge, who happens to be, we believe, Mexican. I think the Mexicans are going to end up loving Donald Trump.” - Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on a San Diego tirade Friday against Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is hearing a class action lawsuit against Trump University. Trump said that Judge Curiel “is a very hostile person” who has “railroaded” him. Trump has been endorsed by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Senate nominee Todd Young, U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita and U.S. Sen. Dan Coats.
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HPI Video Feed
Trump completes gun transformation at NRA
Donald Trump completes his evolution on guns, from agreeing with President Obama's call for reforms following the Newtown massacre in 2012, to this appearance at the NRA convention in Louisville on Friday.

2nd Pence TV ad
This is Gov. Mike Pence's reelection campaign's second TV ad, where he talks about record investment and vows to "keep his head down" and keep going.

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2 videos
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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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