Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (top photo) may become more famous to Southern Indiana voters than the two Indiana nominees, Republican Secretary of State Connie Lawson (left) and Democrat Beth White. Grimes is facing U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in a race that will draw millions of dollars in advertising in the Louisville TV market.
Friday, August 22, 2014 1:16 PM
By PETE SEAT
– Feel like there’s no intensity to the 2014 campaign? Don’t tell that
to Hoosiers who get their news from Chicago, Cincinnati or Louisville.
Hotly contested races in Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky are producing voter
annoyance and fatigue in parts of Indiana, providing a ceiling for both
parties working to parlay their work in 2014 into gains in 2016.
issue is that candidates and parties have long been stymied by the
geographic reality of our position in the heartland. I recall during the
2010 U.S. Senate race when Dan Coats traveled to Chicago for a series
of television interviews only to be attacked by the opposition for
“campaigning out of state.” I guess they didn’t get the memo that over
20 percent of Indiana residents live within the boundaries of those
out-of-state markets. As a result, campaigns can find it difficult to
effectively reach a substantial portion of voters with on-air messages
come election time. Republicans in Northwest Indiana are
familiar with this struggle. The Chicago media market blankets Lake,
Porter, LaPorte and other counties with news that is of little relevance
to Hoosier viewers and that tends to help Democrats.
the problem is especially pronounced in other parts of Indiana as the
names Bruce Rauner, Alison Lundergan Grimes and Ed FitzGerald become
more familiar to some Hoosier voters than the people who will actually
appear on our ballots. Rauner, running against Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn;
Lundergan Grimes, the challenger to U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch
McConnell in Kentucky; and FitzGerald, the Democrat trying to unseat
Ohio Gov. John Kasich; find themselves in competitive and costly races.