Whither Indiana?

So far, the signs out of one key red state look bad for John McCain; that could signal a big night for Barack Obama.

By Alex Koppelman
Published November 5, 2008 6:28AM (UTC)
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In 2004, George W. Bush beat John Kerry in Indiana by a landslide -- 21 percentage points. This year, the state was supposed to go red. But tonight, the signs do not look good for John McCain. It's now almost 8:30 p.m. EST, and as MSNBC's Joe Scarborough observed earlier, "If I'm a Republican and I don't have Indiana by 7:05 I'm starting to sweat." If Barack Obama does somehow manage to win the state, that will forecast a very big night for the Democrat.

And there are a couple of signs that Obama could come away with a victory, or at least make it very, very close. First of all, while the state's Republican governor, Mitch Daniels, appears to have been reelected by a wide margin, exit polls reportedly show one-third of his voters supporting the Democratic presidential nominee.

Secondly, there's some evidence that in certain areas Obama is vastly outperforming Kerry. In at least one key county, Obama has moved out to a big lead over John McCain. As a colleague pointed out to me, Vigo County is a real bellwether. It has voted with the winning candidate in every presidential election since 1960 and has only missed the target twice since 1892. In 2004, Bush beat Kerry there by 7 percentage points. But right now, with 98 percent of precincts reporting, Obama is up by 15 percentage points, 57-42.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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