Downs, who has tracked the numbers back to 1850, said there have been few times in Indiana history when one party has had that kind of super-control over another party. This could be one of those times, Downs said, though he also called it “a pretty tall order.”
Brian Howey, editor of Howey Politics Indiana and a longtime chronicler of state politics, predicted back in July that Republicans were in a good position to increase their majority and called a House GOP super majority “not out of the question.”
That’s due to several factors, including 19 open seats that were created either by redistricting of legislative districts after the 2010 census or by the high number of Democrat legislators who decided to retire.
It helps that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence are polling well in Indiana. But that’s not enough, said Ed Feigenbaum, editor and publisher of the Indiana Legislative Insight newsletter.
Feigenbaum doesn’t think this is “top-down” kind of year for the state legislative races.
Downs agrees: “In Indiana, we’re happy to split our ticket.”
In Feigenbaum’s most recent analysis of the state House races, he says Republicans are within “striking range” of winning 67 seats next Tuesday. But he also likens the countdown to the election to a football game.
“You need to execute each play, each series, each quarter, each half and each game before looking ahead to the Super Bowl.”
Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.