Photo: Barack Obama (Flickr)
While other states have been flooded with ads and candidate visits, campaign itineraries have hopped right over Indiana. Former Indiana Democratic Chairman Kip Tew, who chaired Barack Obama‘s Indiana campaign last time, notes the president benefited in that election from the primary battle with then-Senator Hillary Clinton, which gave Hoosier voters an extended look at him.
“We had a very, very competitive primary between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama which allowed for Hoosier voters to really kick the tires on both candidates, and kept then-Senator, now-President Obama in the mix and in the race,” Tew says.
This time, Tew says the state party‘s weakened position is a handicap for the president. With the governorship and both Senate seats in Republican hands, Tew says there‘s no Democrat with the statewide clout to make the president‘s case on his behalf. But Tew says while Indiana isn‘t what he calls “top tier,” it‘s still in play. And Indiana Republican Chairman Eric Holcomb says the G-O-P won‘t take victory for granted — he says recent history shows Indiana can change affiliations.
“By the very definition of the words ‘swing state,‘ we‘re still a swing state,” Holcomb says. “We were with [President George W.] Bush, and then it swung to [President] Obama, and it appears to be swinging back to [Mitt] Romney this November, but we‘ll take nothing for granted. We want to make sure it swings all the way.”
First Lady Michelle Obama holds a fundraiser Thursday at Lucas Oil Stadium, and Romney will be in Indianapolis next week to address the American Legion‘s national convention.