By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Indianapolis

1. 100 days out

Here are your Monday power lunch talking points: We’ve passed the 100-day out mark for the November election, and Gov. Eric Holcomb, all seven congressional incumbents, and 74 out of 100 Indiana House incumbents are either “safe” or “likely” bets for reelection according to the Howey Politics Indiana Horse Race. The marquee congressional race in Indiana comes in the 5th CD between Republican State Sen. Victoria Spartz and Democrat Christina Hale, which HPI has in a “Leans Republican" category, though a Fox News poll last week had President Trump trailing Joe Biden by 11% in the suburbs and an ABC News/Washington Post poll had Trump down 9% — “larger margins in the suburbs than exit polls have recorded since the 1980s, when Republicans were winning there by double digits.” Normally the constitutional offices are GOP secure, but HPI rates the secretary of state’s race between Republican Todd Rokita and Democrat Jonathan Weinzapfel a “tossup” due to the potential of a national Democratic wave playing out in the presidential referendum on President Trump.

How would such a wave impact Indiana? Both Sabato’s Crystal Ball  and the Cook Political Report  have moved Indiana from “Safe” to “Likely Republican.” At this stage of the game, that’s a precursor for a landslide. An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found 32% approve of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, including just 68% of Republicans. In a spate of battleground state polls, only Ohio (46-45% in a CBS Battleground Tracking Poll) has Trump ahead of Biden. In other CBS polling, Biden is up in Michigan (48-42%). In CNN polling, Biden leads in Michigan (52-40%), Arizona (49-45%) and Florida (51-46%); in NBC/Marist Polls, Biden leads in North Carolina 51-44%, and Arizona (50-45%).

Trumpers are echoing what they were saying in 2016 (the polls aren’t gauging the presidents true support). The critical difference between four years ago and now is that Trump isn’t running against Hillary Clinton, and there’s a pandemic making a terrible comeback while killing close to 150,000 Americans, with new projections putting that toll close to 300,000 by election day.

2. Indiana’s COVID spike


There were 934 new and documented COVID cases on Saturday and 860 on Sunday. On the day Gov. Holcomb’s mask mandate kicks in, the state has 44.4% of its ICU beds available and 83.5% of ventilators. Holcomb revised the mask mandate on Friday, taking out Class B misdemeanor penalties for violating with a handful of county sheriffs in mostly Republican counties vowing not to enforce because of what they say are constitutional infringements. Most Hoosiers will go along with the mask mandate (as they did with the shutdown last spring), believing it a more prudent course that closing down the economy again. Dr. Brian Dixon of the Regenstrief Institute told WIBC  that it will take two or three weeks for the mask mandate to lower numbers. Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House Coronavirus Task Force said in Kentucky on Sunday, “We do believe that there are states that do need to close their bars, to decrease indoor gatherings to less than 10 and to decrease social gatherings to less than 10 to really make it possible to control the pandemic before it gets worse.” In addition to Kentucky, she named Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia and reemerging hotspots.

3. Weinzapfel calls out Rokita on masks

Democratic Indiana attorney general nominee Jonathan Weinzapfel called out Todd Rokita for refusing to clearly back Gov. Holcomb’s mask order. The campaign said that Rokita issued a "purposely muddled statement" Thursday that creates unnecessary confusion over his support of Holcomb’s executive order and his legal authority to issue it. “While Congressman Rokita might have learned to speak out of both sides of his mouth in Washington D.C., it’s not going to fly here in Indiana,” said Weinzapfel, who issued an unequivocal statement in support of the order yesterday. “We are facing a resurgence of this virus across the state and Hoosiers need and expect leadership, not more political doubletalk. This isn’t about politics, ideology or anything else. This is about keeping Hoosiers safe and stopping the spread of this potentially deadly virus. The fact that Congressman Rokita refuses to support Gov. Holcomb on something so basic to the health and safety of our citizens, and on something he clearly has the legal right to do, is disqualifying.” Last week, Rokita released a statement: "Our laws did not anticipate the situation we have today and it has raised valid concerns about individual liberty while protecting public health.”

4. More COVID stats


Purdue announced that 27 out of 415 athletes had tested positive for COVID. The NWI Times  reports that Munster and Chesterton high schools are part of 16 Region school districts that have shut down athletic workouts due to COVID cases. The Indianapolis Colts said they will play in front of 25% capacity crowds at Lucas Oil Stadium. Nationally, Robert O’Brien, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, has tested positive for Covid-19, making him the highest profile Trump official to get the virus. After four Miami Marlins tested positive in Philadelphia, the MLB team's home opener scheduled for today was postponed, as was tonight's Yankees-Phillies game.

5. Michael Moore channels Reggie

Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore warned Democrats not to get complacent with Joe Biden's polling leads. "I want to caution everyone, do not underestimate the evil genius that is Donald J. Trump," Moore warned. "There are many examples throughout history, whether it's Henry V facing the French on Saint Crispin's Day, they outnumbered him 4 to 1 and he was supposed to lose and he didn't. And or jump ahead to the 1995 NBA playoffs [ed. 1994], the Knicks are ahead with 15 seconds left, way ahead of the Indiana Pacers, and Reggie Miller scores eight points in nine seconds. With 15 seconds left."

Have a great week, folks. It's The Atomic!