By Kevin S. Kellems
After having voted Wednesday, which juiced me up, let’s go out on a limb. If the election were held today:
1) Cong. Todd Young (R-IN, 9th) would handily defeat Cong. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN, 3rd) to fill the open U.S. Senate seat of Dan Coats – who spanked Stutzman in the 2010 Senate primary. [Full disclosure, I served as Sen. Coats’ Senior Advisor throughout that primary and general.]
A poll taken 18-21 April by the respected Public Opinion Strategies (POS) for Howey/WTHR showed a 43-31 lead for Young – prior to two unhelpful stories about some campaign finance practices within Cong. Stutzman’s camp.
2) Cong. Young will go on to win in the general over Has Been Baron Hill, whom Young defeated in 2010 to earn IN’s 9th congressional district seat. (Don’t we Hoosiers cherish rematches?!).
While it’s early to assess the general,  POS also had this match-up as Young over Hill at 48-31, while Stutzman-Hill came in at a statistical tie: 39-36, within the 4-point error margin.
3) The IN presidential primary could be tight, but as of today: Donald Trump first, Ted Cruz second, John Kasich third.
Cruz’s pick Wednesday in Indy of Mrs. Carly Fiorina was wise, but likely too little too late. Sen. Cruz attempted to change the topic from recent losses, but the broader narrative of Trump’s momentum is entrenched by now. Plus, many Hoosiers already had voted or made up their minds.
Nonetheless, a favorable aspect of the Fiorina pick is that the former corporate CEO not only is well-known in California, but also popular among some Kasich voters, AS WELL AS throughout a statewide Indiana network of politically active professional women … For example, “The Lugar Series” hosted her in Indy last year as their keynote speaker, before a large audience.
BOTTOM LINE: The GOP presidential nominee will win Indiana in November. Why? Because Secretary Hillary Clinton cannot and will not turn out voters the way then Senator Barack Obama did in 2008. Even if Clinton wins over some suburban women and independents, that’s only part of why President Obama succeeded here. Truth is that college towns and urban areas had more to do with the 2008 electoral anomaly, and Hillary isn’t likely to drive up turnout in those areas like Senator Obama did.
4) THE MOST INTERESTING RACE TUESDAY IN INDIANA: the GOP primary for the 9th congressional district nomination (as it was when Young defeated two primary opponents in a 2010 nail-biter three-way race to earn the nomination in the GOP-leaning district).
Another tight race in the infamous 9th district. Congressional primaries often break later than for other offices. What is happening in our state’s most competitive primary?  A ton of testy radio, TV and mail-a-flying … State Sen. Erin Houchin (R-IN) is engaged in a cage match with Trey Hollingsworth (R?-TN). [Did Trey forget to exit somewhere along I-65 north?]
As of today it feels like Houchin narrowly first, with my old friend and Quayle-hand Attorney General Greg Zoeller (R-IN) perhaps third? Very tough one to call, but this is the kind of race we live for.
5) Say a prayer of thanks that we have this opportunity. Many forget how fortunate we are until reminded when they vote (as well as consider the power and genius of the First Amendment).
PS: Please understand my friends: this is analysis, not advocacy.  Based on what I’ve been seeing, hearing, reading and thinking – plus (sadly) three decades in and out of the ultimate blood sport. Unaligned; and on nobody’s payroll – just doing my thing.
Kellems is a former senior White House aide to Vice President Cheney, and President of Indiana-based The Strategy Center ( /