Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Young wins in the 9th District (in the 9th inning) over Hankins and Sodrel

Wow! What a close race: Young-- 34, Hankins-- 32, Sodrel-- 30. A historical primary results in an exciting outcome with a winner coming from behind to pull it off!

First, congratulations to all three candidates! Travis and Todd ran long and hard this time-- and Mike has put in a ton of time over the past decade. Travis ran an impressive race with a huge emphasis on grass roots. Todd was effective in the more conventional campaigning methods. Mike was classy in defeat and always respectful of Travis.

Here's some of the coverage from across the district: the C-J, Jeff/NA, Seymour, Columbus.

Here are the results: unofficial and aggregate with 99% of precincts reporting from WAVE-3; and eventually, the official county-by-county results from the Indiana Secretary of State's office.
Aside from mis-predicting the outcome, my prediction of the race was about as close as I could hope: I overestimated Sodrel by 3 and Hankins by 4, while underestimating Warren by 2 and Young by 4. (I don't know of anyone else who even took a shot at a public prediction!)
I predicted Hankins over Sodrel by a few points, but missed Young's strength. Conventional wisdom had Sodrel winning over Young (perhaps handily). And few people thought Travis had any shot. (But again, that's the nature of a grass-roots campaign-- unless you're looking at things from the grass root!)

All three of my "key questions" were answered affirmatively:
1.) Hankins dominated in the north/northeast. In six of the 20 counties, Travis got more than the other three candidates combined. (He got nearly 2/3rds of the vote in Ripley where he won by 1,800 over Sodrel and 2,300 over Young.)
2.) Young's attacks on Sodrel's records and his barrage of ads were effective down the stretch-- more than I had imagined.
3.) A lot of people (at least 70% of GOP primary voters) were looking to move from Sodrel to something new.

The key seems to have been the immense turnout in Floyd and probably Clark. Hankins was quite weak there-- and the Young/Sodrel battle (among other things?) cranked up the number of voters from fewer than 3,000 in recent primaries to more than 5,000.

For November: Young should be able to unite GOP voters behind him-- and he should be able to attract a lot of independent voters, especially in a year where newcomers will continue to be rewarded. He should have a great opportunity to beat Baron in the Fall.

HoosierPundit is too pessimistic here: It's not that "65% of 9th District Republicans decided that they didn't want Todd Young", it's that they preferred Sodrel or Hankins over Young for the primary. How many Hankins and Sodrel primary voters will choose Hill over Young? Zero.


At May 5, 2010 at 12:46 PM , Blogger Jenna said...

Job Well Done, Team Hankins!

I must say I am disappointed you all didn't win. It was so close!
But you got your ideas out there and people responded to them and that counts for a lot.
I do feel a little bit bad for Sodrel.
But, time to put all that behind us and get behind Young in November!

At May 5, 2010 at 2:42 PM , Blogger Shawn Loy said...

Pls excuse the cynic (longtime observer) here for a moment:

Money spent:

Young $321,000
Hankins $157,000
Sodrel $119,000

Is it a coincidence that they finished in the same order?

My guess is that the big money spent by Young on at least two slick, large 4 color post cards the last week before the election, and probably sent to a broad list of nearly all the R primary voters across the district probably made the difference (probably at a cost of $150,000 or more). I did not see much evidence of any broad based direct mail from the other two candidates this time. I'm thinking if Sodrel or Hankins had spent $50,000 or so on such a mailer, either one of them probably would have won it.

here's the link to the CJ story with the money figures

NOW, the real problem:

Republicans have just spent $600,000 deciding on their nominee.

The winner has only $152,000 left. Hill has $895,000.

and the key question:

will all the Republicans join together and raise the $2 million or more that will be required to beat Hill?

I know. There's one or two out of the 535 Senators and Representatives who can win without spending more than their opponent. And you do have to have more than just money. But check it out: the ones who spend more, win over 90% (99%?) of the time.

That's $12,000 per day, $83,000 per week, $332,000 per month between now and election day. Or $50 per Republican primary voter.

The clock is ticking.

The general election starts today.

At May 5, 2010 at 10:10 PM , Blogger Eric Schansberg said...

Money matters, especially if name-brand recognition is low and one is running a conventional campaign. Hankins was serious grass-roots-- in a grass-roots year-- so a comparison there is apples and oranges. Sodrel had huge name recognition (and baggage), so a comparison there is apples and rocks!

Looking to November, Todd will need money, but again, there's a lot more out there besides money in a year like this faces a candidate like Baron. Todd should be able to raise "enough" money and then it will depend on the district/national mood about Democrats vs. GOP'ers.


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