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Sunday, October 23, 2016
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Thursday, October 15, 2015 9:20 AM
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.”
  • 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.”

  • 4 years after Mourdock's implosion, Bayh and Young to debate

    INDIANAPOLIS – In what is shaping up to be the second $50 million Indiana U.S. Senate race in the space of four years, Tuesday's 7 p.m. showdown between Democrat Evan Bayh and Republican Todd Young could decide not only who will be Indiana’s eighth senator in 50 years, it could determine which party controls the upper chamber. And, like 2012, the debate could light the fuse to determine who has the most bang for the buck. The Bayh/Young showdown has already brought in $30 million, with easily another $10 to $20 million on tap. It was late in an Oct. 24, 2012, debate between Republican Richard Mourdock and Democrat Joe Donnelly in New Albany when a simple question on abortion may have changed the outcome of the race.

  • Horse Race: Yoder posts $439k for 3rd quarter, surpasses $1M

    NASHVILLE, Ind. - Ninth CD Democrat Shelli Yoder raised an eye-popping $439,000 in the third quarter, according to her FEC report released late last week. Yoder has raised $1.068 million for the cycle and has $107,000 cash on hand in her race against Republican Trey Hollingsworth, who posted $155,000 raised in the third quarter. Hollingsworth, who moved to Jeffersonville from Tennessee last September before filing for the 9th CD, has raised $2.8 million for the cycle and has $490,000 cash on hand. Hollingworth has counted on additional support from a super PAC largely funded by his father. It helped him win a crowded Republican primary against Attorney General Greg Zoeller, as well as State Sens. Erin Houchin and Brent Waltz. Internal Democrat polling shows the race essentially tied. There have been no independent media polls.

  • Pence becomes Trump pointman on sex assaults, Wikileaks


    MERRILLVILLE - Gov. Mike Pence became the Trump campaign’s point man Friday morning in an attempt to refute allegations that the presidential nominee groped women and is acting in concert with the Russian government and Wikileaks which has hacked its way into the upper echelons of the Hillary Clinton campaign. Pence said on the CBS This Morning Show, “Frankly I think before the day is out the allegations will be questioned.” Host Charlie Rose asked, “What evidence is coming out?” “Well, just stay tuned. I know that there is more information that is going to be coming out that will back his claim that this is all categorically false,” Pence said.

  • INSen: Why Young can't separate from Trump

    INDIANAPOLIS – In the weeks following Donald Trump’s twitter tirade against a beauty queen, and days after Trump’s lewd “Access Hollywood” audio/video surfaced, the Republican Party plunged into a widely described “civil war” and pressure to denounce the nominee ratcheted up for U.S. Rep. Todd Young, who is engaged in a cliff-hanger against Democrat Evan Bayh. Deep in the cross tabulations of the Oct. 3-5 WTHR/Howey Politics Indiana Poll lie a data set that shows that Young’s cutting any semblance of ties with Trump would be problematic. It might endear him to independent female voters who could decide this race, but such a stand would hurt him with a base of Trump supporters more than likely to turn out.
  • Bayh no longer seen as unbeatable in showdown with Young
    CNHI Statehouse Bureau

    INDIANAPOLIS – Paul Helmke knew he’d be up against a tough candidate when he entered the U.S. Senate race in 1998. His opponent was Birch Evans Bayh III, known as “Evan” to Hoosier voters who’d sent his famous father to serve in the U.S. Senate for 18 years. The younger Bayh was coming off two terms in the state’s highest office, a job he’d won at age 32, gaining national recognition as the country’s youngest governor. Bayh’s first gubernatorial win had broken a 20-year grip on the office by Republicans. A popular centrist in a conservative state, he was easily reelected four years later by 25 points. Still, Helmke’s Senate bid caught the attention of The New York Times, which deemed it the toughest Senate election that year. The newspaper described Helmke, a Yale law graduate and former Fort Wayne mayor who’d headed the U.S. Conference of Mayors,  as “well-credentialed.” The same story called Bayh blessed with a “famous name” and “good looks.”
  • HPI Interview: Rep. Walorski talks about her tough reelection bid
    GOSHEN – Locked in another close reelection bid, U.S. Rep Jackie Walorski plans to call on her experience in Washington to differentiate herself from the Democrat challenger, Lynn Coleman. The Coleman campaign argues that Republican Walorski has been inaccessible to voters of the 2nd CD, only agreeing to two debates despite there being many more invitations. Walorski, Coleman and the libertarian candidate, Ron Cenkush, will be holding a debate on Nov. 1 at WKUZ in Wabash.  With fewer than 30 days to go, HPI sat down with Walorski to share her thoughts on the campaign, her opponent, the pressing issues of the day and her work in Congress. HPI: This year, Indiana has exciting races going on. As a down-ballot candidate, how do you think these races affect your campaign? How do they help you or hurt you? Walorski: What our campaign has done and will continue to do is no different than any other year. I have a large grass roots base, and we have a lot of momentum, as we always do. We are making thousands of phone calls and I am all over the district like I always am. We are pedal to the metal. This is a swing seat, the only swing seat in Indiana, and we never stop.
  • HPI Analysis: Pence straddles the Republican cataclysm
    INDIANAPOLIS – Hours after Mike Pence recoiled at Donald Trump’s lewd remarks in a 2005 “Access Hollywood” video tape with Billy Bush – learning about them at a Toledo restaurant where he was to have a photo op with an autographed hotdog bun signed by his running mate – the Indiana governor morphed from one who couldn’t “condone or defend” the verbiage, to finding a big man of redemption. “I am truly honored to campaign with him,” Pence said Monday morning on MSNBC. “I thought his apology on Friday night was appropriate. I was offended by his comments and urged him to show his heart to the American people and he did that Sunday night. Donald Trump made it clear that those were only words. He hadn’t engaged in any of that behavior and I believe him. I am proud to stand with him.” A few hours later in North Carolina, Pence said Trump “literally embodies the spirit of America. It takes a big man to know when he’s wrong. And to admit it. And (to have) the humility to apologize.”
  • After chaotic weekend, Pence doubles down with Donald

    INDIANAPOLIS – After one of the most bizarre, lewd and combative weekends in American political history, Gov. Mike Pence vowed to stay on the Republican ticket with Donald Trump. “I am truly honored to campaign with him,” Pence said Monday morning on MSNBC. “I thought his apology on Friday night was appropriate. I was offended by his comments and urged him to show his heart to the American people and he did that Sunday night. Donald Trump made it clear that those were only words. He hadn’t engaged in any of that behavior and I believe him. I understand the media focus on this. This is not where the American people are focused.” “I am proud to stand with him,” Pence said. "It's absolutely false to suggest that at any point in time we considered dropping off this ticket," he said on CNN.

  • Hoosier Republicans cling to the sinking Trump ship

    GNAW BONE, Ind. - Indiana Republicans are angered, disgusted by Donald Trump’s “beyond offensive” lewd audio comments about women from 2005. But not one - not Gov. Mike Pence, Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb, U.S. Senate nominee Todd Young or the congressional delegation - are ready to say they won’t vote for the self-destructing nominee. The Bayh's campaigns Dan Parker pressed Young. “Congressman Todd Young was hesitant to stand up to Donald Trump as he attacked women, Gold Star families, veterans, people with disabilities and even a Hoosier federal judge,” Parker said. “But now that Trump is hurting him politically, he is suddenly rushing to call Trump 'offensive.' Not only is it not enough, it's politics at its most cynical. Voters deserve to know that you can stand up to your party when they are wrong. Congressman Young has proven once and for all he will do anything if it's good for Todd Young, but won't stand up for Hoosier families."  The Young campaign responded with the Bloomington Republican telling HPI, “I think Donald Trump's terrible comments were beyond offensive."
  • Trump, Pence, sex, videotape (& an autographed hotdog bun)

    NASHVILLE, Ind. - Gov. Mike Pence was in Toledo Friday night, preparing to have dinner at Tony Packo’s in Toledo and then appear before his traveling press corps to examine a hotdog bun autographed by his running mate, Donald Trump, whom Pence has consistently compared with President Ronald Reagan. By Saturday morning, after a lewd audio tape surfaced of Trump bantering with Billy Bush, there were calls for Trump to quit and be replaced by Pence, a potential surreal chapter in an election cycle already packed with astounding events. "Today I ask Donald Trump to step aside and for the RNC to replace him with Gov. Mike Pence,” said former GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina.

  • WTHR/Howey Poll: Senate, Gov tossups; Trump up 5%
    INDIANAPOLIS – Hoosier voters are bracing for an unprecedented election homestretch, with the U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races separated by a mere 1 or 2%, while Donald Trump has a precarious 5% lead over Hillary Clinton in the latest WTHR/Howey Politics Indiana Poll released today. This survey conducted by Public Opinion Strategies pollster Gene Ulm Oct. 3 to 5 included 600 likely voters, with 360 landline phones and 240 cells, with a margin of error at +/-4.0%. The party breakdown was 37% independent, 31% Republican and 29% Democrat. In the race that could determine control of the U.S. Senate, Democrat Evan Bayh leads Republican Todd Young 42-41% with Libertarian Lucy Brenton at 8%, or a 3% increase from our September poll. Bayh led Young 44-41% last month. In the gubernatorial race, Democrat John Gregg leads 41-39% in a race that could be decided by who wins the presidential race. Libertarian Rex Bell is at 5%.
  • WTHR/Howey Poll: Trump lead in Indiana precarious at 43-38%

    INDIANAPOLIS - Despite Gov. Mike Pence on the presidential ballot, the showdown between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton lies just outside the margin of error even here in Indiana in the latest WTHR-Howey Police Indiana Poll, in part due to his disastrous feud with a beauty queen. Trump has a 43-38% lead over Clinton, with Libertarian Gary Johnson holding steady at 11%. Clinton is up 2% over the Sept. 6-8 poll that showed Trump leading 43-36%. This survey conducted by Public Opinion Strategies pollster Gene Ulm Oct. 3 to 5 included 600 likely voters, with 360 land line phones and 240 cells, with a margin of error at +/-4.0%. “He is severely testing a red state like Indiana,” Ulm said, saying that Trump’s first debate with Hillary Clinton that drew him into a trap involving a beauty pageant queen is impacting voters even in Pence’s home state. Trump kept engaging beauty queen Alicia Machado, waging a midnight Twitter war and kept discussing the topic during TV interviews in the days that followed the debate. “His favorable/unfavorable is 41/56% in Indiana for a Republican running for president. Bob Dole barely won the state in 1996 and his negatives were in the low 30s.”

  • Pence sought to stabilize Trump campaign after confident debate

    INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana Gov. Mike Pence attempted to stabilize the erratic presidential campaign of Donald Trump Tuesday night in his only debate with his Democratic counterpart Tim Kaine. The two sparred at Longwood University, with Pence repeatedly saying that the Hillary Clinton ticket was “insult driven” and at another time accused the Virginia senator of perpetrating an “avalanche of insults.” “If Donald Trump had said all of the things that you’ve said he said in the way you said he said them, he still wouldn’t have a fraction of the insults that Hillary Clinton leveled when she said that half of our supporters were ‘a basket of deplorables,’” Pence said, taking a tack against Clinton rhetoric that Trump ignored last week.
  • Refugee ban, civil rights issues surface in governor debate

    INDIANAPOLIS - Gov. Mike Pence was more than 500 miles away preparing for his own debate on Tuesday, his name rarely came up, but he cast a nameless shadow in the second gubernatorial encounter at the University of Indianapolis Monday night between Republican Eric Holcomb, Democrat John Gregg and Libertarian Rex Bell. Holcomb declared that he would continue the economic growth over the past decade that created a 4.5% jobless rate and historic employment under the governorships of Pence and Mitch Daniels. Gregg said that struggling Hoosier families “know better” with many working two jobs as per capita income has declined. And an U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit rebuke of Pence’s attempt to ban Syrian refugees found Gregg and Holcomb on the same side. The other divisive social issue - whether to expand civil rights to include LGBT Hoosiers - became a point of contention.

  • HPI Analysis: Pence was a steady debater on the Indiana stage

    INDIANAPOLIS - When Mike Pence experienced his first debate seeking executive office in 2012, he had a 14% lead in the Howey/DePauw Indiana Battleground Poll, he led 13% among women and he faced an underdog opponent needing to make headlines. On Tuesday night, Gov. Mike Pence finds himself in a completely different situation, this time on a national stage. His ticket with Donald Trump appears to be losing steam after they drew close to Hillary Clinton or took outright leads in national and swing state polls in the waning days of September. He plays a subservient role to Trump, who just went through one of the worst weeks a presidential nominee has ever experienced, erratically clinging to a verbal war with a beauty queen and ending by suggesting his opponent had been unfaithful to her husband. Pence has emerged as a Trump whisperer and defender. Often he seems to cling to an alternative universe, lauding Trump even as he tangled with Gold Star mothers and beauty queens. Pence has a clear mission on Tuesday: Steady the ticket, defend the boss, make the case against Hillary Clinton and set the stage for the second Clinton/Trump encounter in St. Louis next Sunday evening.
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  • Brooding Trump ponders 'If I lose . . . ' election
    “What a waste of time if we don’t pull this off. You know, these guys have said: ‘It doesn’t matter if you win or lose. There’s never been a movement like this in the history of this country.’ I say, it matters to me if we win or lose. So I’ll have over $100 million of my own money in this campaign. So, if I lose, if I lose, I will consider this ….” - Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, speaking in Fletcher, N.C. on Friday. Trump didn’t indicate what he meant to say when he didn’t complete the final sentence. The Washington Post said the Trump/Pence campaign has settled into a “dark funk.”

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HPI Video Feed
Trump, Clinton at the Al Smith Dinner
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton trade jokes and barbs at the annual Al Smith Dinner in New York on Thursday.

Pence claims election is rigged
Gov. Mike Pence is echoing Donald Trump saying in Mason, Ohio the Nov. 8 election will be "rigged."

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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