GOP bright spot for 2008 was Indiana


In 2008 one of the nation’s longest GOP streaks for President was broken. Barack Obama was the first Democrat since LBJ in 1964 to win Indiana. So with Obama’s wave of change sweeping over our state the GOP must have taken a beating and lost the Governor’s race right?

Nope, not even close. Mitch Daniels won reelection by 18 points.

How big was the win for Governor Daniels? By the numbers it went like this:

With 1,563,873 votes Governor Daniels received more votes than any other Hoosier candidate for office…ever.

  • Daniels received 24% of the Democrat vote.
  • Daniels received 20% of the African American vote.
  • Daniels won the Independent vote by 18 points.
  • Daniels won EVERY age group including young voters (51%-42%).

A Republican Governor won reelection in a purple state in 2008 not by playing it safe but by being a leader.

How did he do it?


  • Daniels talked about “change” in 2003 before “change” was cool. When first elected, he inherited a dysfunctional state government, hundreds of millions of dollars in debt. Since taking office, he has had only balanced budgets, the biggest tax cut in state history, telecom reform, ethics reform, and millions of dollars have been paid back to schools and local governments. Indiana is now the only state in the nation to have a fully-funded ten-year transportation plan with no debt or tax increase.
  • Hoosiers made a connection with the governor’s steadfast leadership and work ethic. Voters recognized his constant focus on attracting a record number of new and diversified jobs, dramatically reducing homeowner’s property taxes, and the state’s immediate, organized and effective response to the severe weather/record floods in the summer of 2008.
  • Daniels was supported by a formidable coalition of both typical and atypical interest groups. Because of his approach, he received backing by union building trades as well as the Chamber of Commerce, the Manufacturer’s Association and the NFIB. The FOP and prominent veteran leaders were seen on TV ads pledging their support in their own non-partisan words. The International Association of Fire Fighters supported Daniels and Obama. African American leaders passed out Governor Daniels suggestion boxes to urban barbershops and hair salons. Fluent in Spanish, Daniels earned the support of traditionally Democrat Latino voters.
  • Job creation and tough line on fiscal responsibility. The Midwest is a sea of red ink as every state faces serious budget deficits…every state except one. Indiana.
  • Daniels kept it real. He has remained in touch and accessible to average Hoosiers through constant statewide travel. His view is always from the taxpayer’s perspective and that showed on Election Day. Voters came to appreciate his preference to travel the state on his Harley Davidson motorcycle and his insistence to stay overnight in Hoosier homes, not in hotels.

Governor Daniels is term limited and will exit office in 2012…hmmm what could he do in 2012?

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Tennessee was real bright spot

Didnt we win the statehouse in Tennessee?


Yes we did!

The GOP already controlled the state senate but now they have control of the state house for the first tiem since Reconstruction.  The Tennesse DEMs are now a total joke.  There going to probably lose the governorship after DINO Phil Bredesen retires in 2010.  There only best state-wide candidate is former Rep. Harold Ford (a blue dog mulatto)  but that means he is part of the Memphis Ford family which is now synomous with corruption and incompetence.

While at the same time you complain

Elsewhere on this site you complain that the Democrats have "bought and paid for" the votes of minorities. Has it ever occurred to you that with people like you saying things like this the Democrats don't actually need to court the minority vote, it is just going to go there naturally?

Oklahoma was also good.

The Oklahoma state senate went to the GOP for the first time in history, and we gained seats in the state house (finally got the majority in 2004). All 77 Oklahoma counties went for McCain/Palin (ranging from 54% to 89%), and he got his highest percentage in Oklahoma (around 65.5%).

Mithc Daniels would be an interesting, dark-horse candidate. This far out, all of the attention is focused on potential candidate like Palin, Huckabee, Romney, Jindal, etcetera. There's plenty of time for someone else to break into the pack.

OK is OK

With some of the mountain states weakening, you've got OK fighting with UT for the most Republican state in the union. Good job on winning the state house, now dont lose it!
(We were at risk in Texas and have a bare 1 seat majority in the Texas state House).

Runoff on Dec 16th for Texas state senate.

We're trending red, big time

The funny thing about Oklahoma is that we're still down in the registration numbers by about 300,000. All of those Democrats who really aren't Democrats, but just won't switch parties..

The good thing is that we're trending redder. Big time. We'll catch the majority in registered voters some day soon...

Mitch for President '12

Having worked for the Indiana House of Representatives and then on Gov. Daniels' campaign, I am under the impression that Mitch would be the greatest president in U.S. history.

The man is amazing. He has shrunk government and held it accountable; turned a huge deficit into an even bigger surplus and trusted the private sector to do what they do best. He is a man of great character, integrity and ingenuity.

I would be one of the first to jump on the Mitch for President bandwagon, but after his last television ad promising that his second term as governor would be the last office he sought, am a little discouraged. Besides, it was hard enough getting Cheri Daniels to agree to let Mitch run for governor. I can't imagine how she would feel about the presidency and the spotlight that it brings.

Maybe get him to replace ...

The IN senators, both of whom are disappointing ... Bayh and Lugar both. goodness, cant Indiana do any better? Mitch Daniels would be a big step up.

I'm getting a little nervous

about this 2012 talk; I like all of the people being discussed but it seems that the media is trying its best to try and divide this party along those lines.  I've got no problem with self-promotion but there seems to be an overeagerness in this party to attack other republicans.

Daniels was a liability for the GOP in the midterms

The private toll road proposals were very unpopular in '06.  They were old news by '08. But let's not kid ourselves that Mitch turned everything Red. We lost three House seats here in '06 and got none of them back this time out.

St. Louis Conservative

Yeah, Daniels was a bright spot, however the GOP still failed to reclaim Hill's, Donnelly's, or Ellsworth's seat.  All three of those districts are heavily Republican.  We can never become a majority party when Dems are holding R +7 districts.