So Hoosier Republicans may have made inroads with the all-female ticket, with the potential that along with Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann (and Democrat Supt. Glenda Ritz), females could very well hold four of the six state constitutional offices.
But this came just a month after State Reps. Rebecca Kubacki and Kathy Heuer - moderates representing two of the most evangelical districts in the state - lost primary races to conservatives Curt Nisly and Christopher Judy.
This segues into another key building block for what should be an extremely interesting 2016 election cycle. Kubacki and Heuer were targeted by family groups incensed by their votes on HJR-3, the constitutional marriage amendment.
This set up a floor fight over whether to take a platform plank position on marriage. The party opted for plank that included compromise language: “We believe that strong families, based on marriage between a man and a woman, are the foundation of society. We also recognize that some families are much more diverse and we support the blended families, grandparents, guardians and loving adults who successfully raise and nurture children to reach their full potential every day.”
The reason family groups pressed for this plank was that it was omitted in the party’s 2012 platform. Opponents of HJR-3 constantly pointed during the Indiana General Assembly debates last winter to the fact that neither party had taken a plank stance on marriage.
At one point, delegates had to physically stand to defeat two amendments to the platform as well as adopt the entire document. Estimates from Republicans on the stage (as well as my own viewpoint) revealed support by 75 to 80 percent of the delegates.
It was consistent with polling provided by family advocacy groups that claimed “82 percent support” among Republicans. But that contrasted with Howey Politics polling in April 2013 that had the issue split within the margin of error, 50 percent in favor of a constitutional amendment and 46 percent opposed (compared to a 48/45 percent split in the October 2012 Howey/DePauw poll). A Ball State Bowen Institute survey in October 2013 found 57 percent opposing the constitutional amendment and 38 percent supporting.