With Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum suspending his campaign last week, Indiana is no longer a factor in the presidential primary.
Republican leaders have talked for months about how a competitive presidential primary would be beneficial for Indiana, but now that Mitt Romney has all but locked up the nomination, national attention has turned towards the general election and away from the Hoosier State’s primary.
State Republican Party chairman Eric Holcomb says he’s been counseling candidates not to rely on the presidential race to boost turnout or attention.
“You shouldn’t tether your campaign and depend on someone else’s organization to propel your own,” he says.
Holcomb says he hasn’t given any thought to advocating for Indiana’s primary date to be moved up in the calendar.
“In 2008 there was a lot of attention on Indiana on the Democrat side of the aisle and it looked – you know, 30, 40 days away – it looked like it might be the same four years later and we didn’t have to move our date earlier in the process,” he says.
But the GOP chair says Republicans across the state are already energized for November’s elections and that could translate to a higher turnout for the primary next month.