So now that we’ve had a week to digest the election results, it’s time to pick the winners and losers of 2016. This list is not all inclusive and you are free to add anyone you think we should have.
Mike Pence, Vice-President Elect
- Rumors of Mike Pence’s political demise were grossly exaggerated. A year ago a lot of people across this state were writing his political obituary; today they’re calling him Mr. Vice-President Elect.
Todd Young, U.S. Senator-Elect
- He didn’t let the Bayh name or brand scare him off. He took the fight right to Evan and won.
Eric Holcomb, Governor Elect
- Just like Pence, a year ago people were writing off his U.S. Senate candidacy. Now they’re writing letters of congratulations to the next Governor.
Curtis Hill, Attorney General Elect
- He not only led the ticket (even surpassing Trump) in votes, but by our last check he was the highest vote getter in Indiana history. (And by the way, he’s African-American)
Jennifer McCormick, Superintendent of Public Instruction
- Need we say more?
Brian Bosma, House Speaker
- He kept his super majority.
David Long, Senate President Pro Tempore
- He expanded his super majority.
John Ruckelshaus & Cindy Kirchhofer
- Proof that Republicans can win in Marion County with the right message and right candidates.
Jeff Cardwell (State GOP Chair)
- He got a lot of grief early on Chairman, but winning big and having one of your best friends be the next Vice-President solves a multitude of problems.
Trevor Foughty/Mike O’Brien
- These guys ran campaigns that at the start seemed uphill against Evan Bayh and John Gregg and they finished on cruise control on Election night.
Tony Samuel/Rex Early/Susie Jawoworski
- You gotta give it up for Team Trump.
Christina Hale, Democratic Lt. Governor Candidate
- Her statewide run gave her the exposure needed to help start the rebuilding process and earn a role in establishing new leadership.
Scott Pelath, House Democratic Leader
- He actually grew his caucus, albeit by one seat. But then again, when everyone else was on the Titanic, being on the Andrea Doria doesn’t look to bad.
- See Jennifer McCormick
Luke Kenley, Republican State Senator & Donna Schaibley, State Rep.
- They were two biggest statehouse vote getters. Kenley got 48,648 votes and Schaibley got more than 29,000 votes, more than any House member.
Joe Donnelly, U.S. Senator
- He becomes the leader of his party as the highest elected official, but even better he doesn’t have to face a mid-term election under a Clinton presidency.
- To the Tennessean go the spoils.
Indy Mass Transit Expansion Proponents
- Not only did they win, but they won in 19 of the 25 Council Districts, including Joe Simpson and Christine Scales who opposed the referendum.
And the Losers Are…
- He took a 20-point lead and turned it into into a 13-point loss. Yes, there was a lot of outside money spent, but Bayh didn’t help with how he addressed the lobbying and residency issues.
- It is true, the sequels are usually never better than the originals
- Her loss in 2016 was just like her win in 2012, she never expected it.
Indiana Democratic Party
- They went retro when the voters wanted to go forward and now their Twitter account has gone silent.
- They spent millions of their members’ take home pay over the last four cycles and not only do they have nothing to show for it, but they’ve lost ground and created a lot of enemies who used to support them.
- They spent a lot of money on candidates their members did not vote for.
The Far Right
- The same people who brought you RFRA now find themselves with a Governor who has no appetite for any of that stuff. They spent money and effort to beat Senator David Long in a primary and now he has an even bigger majority. They also backed Jennifer McCormick’s opponent at the state convention.
- If his caucus gets any smaller you’ll need an electron microscope to see them.
Jeff Harris, Gregg campaign spokesman
- In 2008 it was Jill Long Thompson, now it’s John Gregg. Good luck in 2020.
We did not include State Auditor Suzanne Crouch in the winners spot because she was our “break even” nominee. If Holcomb won she moved up the ladder, if he lost she was still Auditor and would have been doing battle with John Gregg as Governor.