With GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels’ signature in mid-May, Indiana Republicans undid Democrats’ 2001 gerrymander and passed the relatively compact lines Daniels had advocated. The new plan splits just nine counties, compared to 12 in the current plan. Even under the current lines, Republicans hold six of the state’s nine seats and didn’t have a lot of targets left. The Democratic waves of 2006 and 2008 briefly reduced Republicans to minority status in the delegation, but in 2010, Republicans took back the southern Indiana seats of Democratic Reps. Brad Ellsworth (IN-08) and Baron Hill (IN-09).

The unfinished business for Republicans was Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly (IN-02), who won reelection in his South Bend area seat by 2,538 votes last fall. There was very little Donnelly could do to stop ruling state Republicans from imposing their will in the map, and in the end his threat to run for statewide office wasn’t enough to deter Republicans from purging Democratic voters from his district and turning his seat into an easy pickup opportunity. Sure enough, Donnelly has followed through on his threat and

More from the Cook Political Report

Trump Biden
Free
2024 Swing State Project
AW
JT
First Person
Cook Politcal Logo