Indiana may seem as though it is a predictable state in this upcoming election, yet in this election, nothing can be predicted. Indiana is largely recognized as a republican or red state. Since 1900, the state has only voted blue in five presidential elections- 1912, 1932, 1936, 1964, 2008. Yet, oddly enough roughly half of Indiana’s governors have been democrats. Furthermore, the state of Indiana only has 11 electoral votes, therefore it is often not important enough for candidates to spend time there. In the latest presidential election, Mitt Romney vs. Barack Obama in 2012, Indiana was overwhelmingly red. This year it seems as though history may repeat itself. In the newest poll by Real Clear Politics, Trump is leading the state over Clinton by 9 points. Interestingly, Gary Johnson has roughly 10.5 points.
Indiana is certainly interesting this year as their current governor, Mike Pence, is Trump’s vice presidential running mate. In recent years, Pence has been under scrutiny for certain acts of legislation, notably religious freedom laws. The Religious Freedom Law granted business owners to refuse service to others who went against their religious beliefs. In other words, it allowed for legal discrimination against the LGBT community. The law was highly controversial and caused Pence’s approval rating to drop. As of July 2016, Pence has an approval rating of 48 percent. While this approval rating is quite low, it is certainly no where near the lowest on the list.
In order to better understand Indiana, here are some of the state’s demographics. Indiana, which is made up of roughly 6.6 million people, is about 85 percent white and 9.6 percent African American. Nearly 500,000 veterans live in the state, and only 4 percent of the state’s population is made up of immigrants. These demographics may point to why the state frequently votes red.
Aside from the presidential race there is also an intense Senate race in Indiana. Todd Young (R) and Evan Bayh (D) are both vying for a seat in the United States Senate. The race has become very competitive and on September 12, former president George W. Bush announced that he will be raising money for Young’s campaign. Young currently works in the House of Representatives whereas Bayh is a former senator for Indiana.
Overall, Indiana should be an interesting state to keep an eye on, especially since Mike Pence could be our next vice president. Will his low approval ratings throughout the state impact the election? We will have to wait and see!