By BRIAN A. HOWEY MARION - The answers to 2008's persistent questions begin to fill in 30 hours from now as the polls close on the most sensational political year in Indiana since the Civil War. The statistics already show that Hoosiers have taken to the spirit of voting we saw in Iraq in the dark winter of 2004 as a lethal insurgency gathered when citizens there proudly held up their ink-stained fingers in their war-torn cities. Here in Indiana as the smoke from the Wall Street debacle slowly clears we wait peacefully, patiently in long lines ... on sunny Indian Summer Saturday afternoons  ... to vote early. Some 630,000 of us have already voted, a stunning number. The Iraq War has faded from much of the rhetoric, when we once thought it would cast a large shadow over the American political scene. Gas prices have faded, too, actually dipping below the $2 a gallon mark. Conventional wisdom had once positioned those issues as millstones and opportunities. The Clinton-Giuliani showdown of 2007 has become the John McCain-Barack Obama epic of '08. If there was any doubt about Indiana's significance, the fact that in the final 20 hours of the campaign both McCain and Obama will be walking on Indiana soil and the fact that we've seen all four members of the tickets here in the final week is a profound statement of the Hoosier impact in the national weave. Some 500,000 of us have attended a presidential rally. We've watched Bill Clinton campaign in Dan Burton's congressional district, Hillary down shots at Bronko's and Barack Obama walk his family's Tipton County homestead and tour the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame with George McGinnis. We saw Sarah Palin draw close to 60,000 people in three appearances. There is a green "Mitch" sign in the front yard of the late Julia Carson's home. Tomorrow night we learn who this Hoosier political blender settles from frape to something recognizable: a landslide victory for Gov. Daniels or a 53 percent win? Speaker Bauer or Speaker Bosma? Congressman Souder or Congressman-elect Montagano? Attorney General Pence? Or Zoeller? At this moment in time, it is impossible to sort out because there are so many variables with properties that can twist battered conventional wisdom even further. Howey Politics Indiana presents our final forecast of the 2008 election. We will be back late Wednesday or early Thursday with our first wave of analysis on the most incredible political year of our lives. Our statistical analysis, our educated guesses, our gut checks and our darts into the corkboard are listed below: Presidential The latest polls from Zogby Reuters in Indiana (Oct.30-Nov. 2) has John McCain leading Barack Obama 49-44 percent. An ARG Poll (Oct. 28-31) had the race tied at 48 percent. The Real Clear Politics Indiana average is McCain 47.2% to 46.2 percent for Obama. Howey/Gauge had McCain leading 47-45 percent on Oct. 23-24 some 11 days prior to Election. Since our poll, the two presidential tickets have or will have made six additional visits on Hoosier soil. This is an organic race that will remain in constant flux until 6 p.m. Tuesday. History certainly has McCain's back here in Indiana. The easy thing to do would be to forecast Indiana into the red column with, perhaps, a purple tinge. Many observers - including HPI - believe it will be as close as Hillary Clinton's 1.14 percent win over Obama in the primary. Obama wouldn't be coming back to Indiana on Tuesday if he had it in the bag and he wouldn't be coming back if he didn't think he could win it. This is a pure tossup. Several elements lead us to predict a narrow Obama win. The biggest is his ground game. With the 47 satellite offices, the more than $5 million spent on TV, the 49 visits to the state by the Illinois senator, the way the "change" narrative has obviously moved so many Hoosiers leads us in this direction. There are some other intangibles. After watching the most prolific ground game in modern politics (Bush-Cheney 2004) and the fact that McCain had this nomination essentially sewed up in mid-February, you have to wonder why his campaign seems so flat-footed here in Indiana. McCain is not popular on Capitol Hill. Sen. Dick Lugar's support has been tepid - he will "support the Republican nominee." I'm not sure we're seeing the dwindling GOP congressional delegation really pulling out all the stops for him here. U.S. Reps. Steve Buyer, Mark Souder and Mike Pence are not on the card for today's third campaign stop, the first since July 1. We see more enthusiasm for Gov. Palin than we do McCain. We've forecast that the Obama ground organization overcomes not only the racist tendencies in some pockets of Indiana, but lifts it into the 11 Electoral College votes. If he doesn't, it will be hard to see another Democrat come along in the future and try to shake Indiana's red tendencies. We forecast a narrow Obama victory here. Nationally, we see an Obama Electoral College victory in the 340 range. Indiana Governor Gov. Mitch Daniels did not campaign last weekend. Just before he walked off RV1 for the final time last Thursday, he told HPI he might go motorcycling last weekend, though that gave way to golf. There were no campaign stops. The last polls show anywhere from an 18 percent (Star/13/Selzer) to a 31 percent (Howey/Gauge) victory. Democratic sources say their internals showed anywhere from an 18 to 27 percent Daniels victory. So the question here isn't who; it's by how much? We view the Daniels/Skillman campaign in the same lofty heights of other stellar campaigns: Evan Bayh in 1988, Frank O'Bannon in 1996, Sen. Dan Coats in 1992, Bart Peterson in 1999, Graham Richard in '99 and '03, Dan Quayle in 1980, Tim Roemer in 1990 and Steve Buyer in 1992. Daniels never ran a negative ad. He is positioned to buck what appears to be a historic national wave. How much does Daniels win? Ultimately, we think his floor and ceiling is in the 55 to 57 percent range. Thompson's golden opportunity came during the Wall Street meltdown and she was broke at the time. We suspect Thompson's ceiling is in the upper 30s to low 40s, with some of the anti-Mitch vote going to Libertarian Andy Horning due to Thompson's name recognition problems. Congressional We believe U.S. Rep. Mark Souder is in deep danger of losing. Howey/Gauge pollster Holly Davis put his re-election prospects in the 20 percent range. We're hearing similar sentiments out of Washington. Howey/Gauge had Montagano with a 44-41 percent lead on Oct. 23-24. We forecast a narrow Montagano victory. In the 6th CD, there is no public polling, but if you study the 1974 Watergate GOP implosion, there were a couple of Republican congressmen - David Dennis in east central Indiana and Earl Landgrebe - who were washed out unexpectedly. Landgrebe was more of a mark when he told the press "don't confuse me with the facts" over Nixon and Watergate. If you look at the Cook Partisan Index, Dan Burton leads it with +20 percent Republican district (one of the most Republican in the nation), followed by Rep. Steve Buyer at +18, Souder at +17 Republican, and U.S. Rep. Mike Pence at +10. As one GOP operative told us, there is some smoke, but the rumblings are somewhat obscured. There is some talk in Washington that Pence might be vulnerable, but some of that could be detractors taking swipes at his power base. Pence, however, has some rust belt auto cities like Anderson, Muncie, Richmond and Connersville that have really taken it on the chin. The African-American Obama vote in these cities will be intense. We know of at least one internal poll that had Pence up only 3 percent in his rematch with Rev. Barry Welsh, who hasn't been able to run TV ads. We know that Obama and the Clintons made dozens of stops in the 6th CD last spring, igniting Democratic passions. So if there's a stunner on the Congressional level, it would be Pence. We're not predicting that Pence loses; we just think that if there is a ghost in the bushes (pun intended), it's most likely to spring out in the 6th. Buyer has had to fend off Democrat Nels Ackerson, who has aimed some pretty good TV and radio at the Republican. We're just not hearing the same type of chatter that we are with Pence. We expect U.S. Rep. Baron Hill to win by double digits in what will likely be his fourth and final race against Mike Sodrel. Everyone else breezes, including popular freshman Democrats Brad Ellsworth and Joe Donnelly. Indiana House SWITCHES: We forecast a two to four seat majority for the Democrats. With the current 51-49 Democratic House, we see the parties swapping queens: Republican Mark Mesmer winning HD63 held by Rep. Dave Crooks, and former Greencastle Mayor Nancy Michael defeating Republican Amos Thomas in HD44. House: 51-49 Democrat TOSSUPS: Then there are the pure tossups: HD26 between Republican Randy Truitt and Democrat John Polles; HD31 between State Rep. Tim Harris and Democrat Joe Pearson; HD46 between State Rep. Vern Tincher and Republican Bob Heaton; HD89 between Democrat John Barnes and Republican Chris Swatts in the Larry Buehl GOP open seat and HD97 between State Rep. Jon Elrod and Democrat Mary Ann Sullivan. Of those, Obama's coattails in the college towns of Marion and West Lafayette as well as in HD89 could make the difference. We would not be surprised to see the Democrats hold on to HD26 and take two GOP seats, though internal polling shows all of these too close to call. While both parties see the Tincher/Heaton race as a tossup, informed observers in both parties give Tincher a slight advantage. Another tossup is HD97 but we have observers in both parties predicting that Elrod hangs on. Elrod is running some pretty decent TV responding to attacks from Sullivan. However, with a 10 percent African-American base, the Obama factor comes into play. House: 53-47 Democrat; 54-46 if Elrod loses. INCUMBENT ADVANTAGE: We give State Reps. Don Lehe (HD15), Scott Reske (HD37), Bill Davis in HD33 and Bruce Borders in HD45 the advantage. House: 53-47 Democrat. LATEBREAKERS: House Republicans appear to be trying to expand the field into districts where Gov. Daniels might have longer coattails than Barack Obama. Democrats would be in a lot better shape if they had a gubernatorial nominee that was in a closer race.c In HD68 State Rep. Bob Bischoff is trying to fend off Republican Jud McMillin. Right to Life accused Bischoff of having its endorsement. Bischoff is now running Cincinnati TV. So there's smoke there. In HD75, J.D. Strouth is running a pro-life campaign against State Rep. Dennis Avery who has been in the House for 34 years. In HD72, Republican Ed Clere is running an attack campaign against State Rep. William Cochran. We're not sure which one but we think the GOP have a chance at pealing one of these seats off in the "time for a change" environment. House: 52-48 Democrat. So, our forecast is a 52-48 Democratic House. We don't mean to equivocate, but it could easily go one seat either way. Statewides Conventional wisdom is the statewides follow the governor, who sets in motion a ticket splitting trend. Of the two we believe superintendent candidate Tony Bennett is most likely to follow Daniels. We wonder if a number of Hillary Clinton supporters might be inclined to buck that trend and vote for Linda Pence over Greg Zoeller in the attorney general's race. Our forecast: a GOP sweep for Daniels, Zoeller and Bennett.