Gregg will be Indiana's governor; Trump will take state; Mike who?

Dateline: Tue 20 Sep 2016

      Based on Indiana's primary votes, you can take it to 46th and Meridian: John Gregg will be the next governor of Indiana, Donald Trump will win the state (but he has no coattails), and former Gov. Mike Pence is "down in the weeds" in many counties and in general is extremely disliked across Indiana -- not just by D's but by R's

       Those are the thoughts of Alan R. Ford and his son David Ford, amateur political analysts/political junkies and number crunchers from Hamilton County who read tea leaves from the primary results to reach their conclusions. Their sources are federal, state and county election returns. (see end of this post for listing).

      A little background. Alan is an aircraft control designer and a Purdue University graduate. David ran as a Democrat in the 2014 5th District U.S. Representative race on a platform of local government control and paring away at national debt; he describes himself as an old-school JFK Dem. Both have military backgrounds, Alan with 28 years in the Navy Reserves and David having served in the United States Air Force, staff sergeant.

      These guys are good. No drama, just a boatload of stats.

       Listen up to what they say, based on their premise that "primaries are not general elections, and vice versa, but we believe they are a better indicator of voter enthusiasm than polls, surveys, etc.," says Alan Ford.

      The thinking is that Gregg will win because Eric Holcomb, Pence's lackluster stand-in, is unknown to most voters at worst -- zero name recognition -- and at best is seen as Pence Lite. It's not so much that Hoosiers are in love with John Gregg, but we dislike Pence. And that's not just in Marion County, but around the state.

       This is critical: Roughly 1 in 4 GOP voters (in Marion and other counties, Hamilton, Hendricks, Benton, Carroll, Clinton, Grant, Madison, Montgomery, Tippecanoe, Warren, etc.) skipped over Pence in the primary.

        Statewide, 1,110,543 Republicans voted for a presidential candidate in the primary, but 294,844 or 26.55 percent, completely bypassed Pence on the ballot.

     Gregg did better -- only 14 percent skipped over him.

     And, Gregg has done a good job of painting Holcomb as just "more of Pence," and people in Indiana do not want more of Pence.

     We all know that Pence was a huge disappointment to his core constituency when he caved in on the Religious Freedom Reformation Act and Common Core. Seen as "squishy" by his once-loyal constituency, and disliked/despised by others for his initial stance on RFRA, he has no traction in Indiana.

     "Pence barely bested the treasurer and surveyor in Marion County," said Alan Ford. "He is very weak."

     Indiana is a law-and-order state, say the Fords: voters will totally ignore an unpopular gov candidate to vote for county sheriff or surveyor or any other local office.

      Yet, Indiana remains solidly red. Generally, in a presidential primary and in the general, the rule is this: if an R is running, the R will get 60 percent of the vote and the D will get 35 percent; the Independent will get 4 percent. Of course, Barack Obama was the exception in 2008, but now we are back to our normal Red state selves.

     "We believe Trump will take Indiana. We don't believe he has much in the way of coattails," say the Fords.

     Amazingly, the county where Trump did the best in the primary in Indiana was Lake County. The Fords can only speculate that's because of Inland Steel -- the steelworkers and others disgruntled by job losses are not for Hillary Clinton and are willing to take a chance on Trump.

     Clinton has outspent Trump at $297.7 mil (as of 9/12); Trump has spent $57.7 million. But Trump is a genius at media attention. "Money does not buy votes...Trump is a master" (at getting media exposure.)

   Is this an unusual election? You probably do not need the Fords to tell you that, but here is their take. "This is a change election. The pollsters don't have a friggin' clue...we don't think anybody knows" (what will happen in the POTUS race.)

     "Nationwide, the perception is we have bad candidates on both sides. The numbers are too close to call."

     However, the Republicans do have this going for them, for now.

      "Usually about 2.5 to 3 times as many voters show up for a general election, but that will not be true this year. The Republicans are energized and the Democrats are depressed. The Republican turn-out in this primary is unusual -- perhaps unprecedented," he adds.

          For the record, the Fords spoke at the Sept. 12 meeting of Tea Party North of Indianapolis. And no, they are not Tea Partiers or Libertarians, not that it matters. They are "political nerds."

      Their sources:

Federal Elections Website (Federal Candidate Financial Reports):


Indiana Secretary of State Electrions Home (Federal and State-wide Candidate filings, State-wide campaign finances Election Results)


Marion County Election Board (Detailed Election Results, forms, County-wide Finances, forms)


Hamilton County Election Office (Detailed Election Results, forms, County-wide Finances, forms)








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