FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Less than three months from election day, Hoosiers will have a lot to vote on when they head to the polls on November 8.
One of the races, in particular, will be the U.S. Senate race between Republican incumbent Todd Young and his Democratic challenger Hammond mayor Tom McDermott. The last time Young was in this position he was a surprise winner in 2016 over then-Democratic nominee Evan Bayh.
Political scientist Andy Downs, professor emeritus of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Purdue University-Fort Wayne, believes Indiana’s red-state status will ring true in most races this fall, but that it will not be as cut and dry as many might think. Especially in the Senate race.
“Things are certainly exciting and dynamic and some of those factors will play here. At this point I’m not so sure they are going to change the outcome of any of the elections,” Downs told Indy Politics.
“(McDermott is) a proven vote getter. He can’t be ignored,” he added. “Todd Young, who is a pretty conservative member of Congress, he has said some things, done some things, that might turn off some of the more further right voters of the Republican Party.”
However, Downs believes that far right-leaning Republicans would rather not vote in the Senate race at all if they choose not to vote for Young.
Based on the outcome of a special election in New York’s 19th district this week in which Pat Ryan, a Democrat, won decisively by running on a strict pro-abortion platform, Downs believes the abortion ruling will have a much bigger play in this election cycle than initially thought.
“It’s not like this straight D: this is where you stand, R: this is where you stand,” Downs said. “I think we’re starting to see that this blurs some lines here.”
Downs said there are many different opinions on abortion among the two political parties that may swing some votes one way or the other.