Indy and the Donuts: How did Mourdock lose? Created by msouder on 11/7/2012 5:14:53 PM
The "doughnut" is the ring of counties around Marion County (which is basically the city of Indianapolis). Marion County is now heavily Democrat (President Obama won 62% of Marion) whereas the donut is heavily Republican (Romney around 68%). This is the base of the Indiana Republican Party. Yesterday Indy & the Donut provided about 37% of Romney's Indiana total. (8 counties out of the 92 in Indiana.)
President Obama's base is very simple: Marion (Indy) and Lake County. Marion provided 215,000 votes for Obama and Lake provided 81,000, totaling 296,000 Obama votes. Ironically Indy & Lake gave Obama almost exactly 37% as well.
After defeating Senator RIchard Lugar in the Senate primary, including defeating him in the Donut counties, Richard Mourdock knew that some Republicans would defect. However, a decline averaging roughly 13% per county was far too steep (Marion County only slipped by 8%).
Clearly forces supporting Mourdock hoped that other counties would offset so appear to have had a slightly more intense ad campaign (certainly in FW) than the Indy area toward the end. It didn't work.
The eleven biggest Republican counties outside Indy & the Donut averaged about a 9% drop from Romney to Mourdock, not nearly enough to recover. Even if in the Donut Mourdock had received exactly the Romney vote, he would have been defeated.
Even more disappointing to those of us who supported Richard Mourdock, the 3rd congressional district centered around Fort Wayne was also disappointing with around a 9% average per county, with DeKalb being the best for Republicans (only a 3% drop) and Allen coming in about average (8% drop).
While the Donut was especially disappointing the fact is this: 1) Lugar's home base was Indy, aggravating they didn't come through but not shocking 2) but all of Donnelly's margin came from elsewhere (Mourdock won the Donut solidly) and 3) northeast Indiana was no help, nor was the rest of the state.
Democrat counties delivered for their candidate and Republican counties, including this region, did not perform as well as expected and did not deliver for their Senate candidate. Numbers don't lie. They can be twisted, but I have no motive. I wanted to prove it was Indy area but when I looked at the enemy of handing a Senate seat to the Democrats: it was us too.