Michael Conroy/AP

There has been a lot of talk about how the explosive 2005 video of Donald Trump making vulgar comments about women may drag down Republican Senate candidates. But so far, it's not a game changer in Indiana. Trump is still favored to win the reliably red state, so that means both contenders for the open Senate seat are fighting over Trump supporters. That's an awkward spot for former Sen. Evan Bayh, a Democrat, who has been panned as a Washington insider during this outsider election year.

When Democrats recruited Bayh to jump into the Indiana Senate race in July, they thought it would be an easy win. But in three months, Bayh's commanding double-digit lead has shriveled to a virtual tie against Republican Rep. Todd Young. That's in large part because of the barrage of criticism Bayh is weathering for making a home — and making lots of money — in Washington, D.C., since leaving the Senate.

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Republicans were already at a massive disadvantage when it came to the 2016 Senate map — defending more than double the number of seats of the Democrats had. To compound matters, many of those endangered Republicans were sitting in swing state territory in a presidential year where the electorate already leans more liberal.

Donald Trump's once-sagging poll numbers rebounded nationally after cratering post-convention. He's doing better now in battlegrounds where he needs to win the White House — and where Republicans are defending their toughest Senate seats — but overall still narrowly lags Hillary Clinton.

Some Republican seats once thought to be sure-wins for Democrats, such as Ohio and Florida, are moving off the table. But now, seats in typically safe GOP turf, such as Indiana and Missouri, are at real risk of flipping. It's a much different path to the majority than either party had expected.

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Indiana’s health commissioner has declared a public health emergency in Southern Indiana’s Clark County that allows local officials to start a needle exchange to curb the spread of hepatitis C and HIV.

Commissioner Dr. Jerome Adams declared the emergency Monday, making the county the sixth in Indiana to win permission for a needle-exchange following an HIV outbreak in Southern Indiana linked to intravenous drug use. The five others are Fayette, Madison, Monroe, Scott and Wayne counties.

Clark County spent eight months trying to work out problems with its initial needle-exchange application. The county submitted a second application after ending talks with the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation to pay for the program.

County health Commissioner Kevin Burke said state health officials didn’t support how that foundation would have funded the program.


A new poll released Wednesday has good news for Indiana Democrats.

The poll shows Democrat Evan Bayh leading Republican Congressman Todd Young by seven points in the state’s U.S. Senate race.

The Evansville Courier and Press reports Bayh is leading Young 48 percent to 41 percent.

Bayh’s candidacy is especially important to the Democrats nationally in their effort to take control of the Senate.

The Monmouth University poll shows a tight race for governor.

Republican Lieutenant Gov. Eric Holcomb holds a one percentage point lead over Democrat John Gregg.

The poll has a margin of error of nearly five percentage points.


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, are attending a fundraiser at a private home in Evansville next week.

Monday’s event is being hosted by businessman Steve Chancellor, the CEO of American Patriot Group, which makes field-ready meals for military personnel.

The Evansville Courier & Press reports Kentucky Congressman Brett Guthrie of Bowling Green is also scheduled to attend the fundraiser.

The minimum donation for a couple is $10,000. Photo opportunities and access to VIPs will cost more—between $25,000-$250,000.

Trump and Pence are trying to keep Indiana’s 11 electoral college votes in the Republican win category. Republican Mitt Romney beat President Obama by 10 percentage points in 2012.

Holcomb Picked for Indiana Republican Governor Bid

Jul 26, 2016

The Republican candidate picked to replace Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on the November ballot says the state is heading in the right direction and he wants to continue with those policies.

The 22-member Indiana Republican state committee voted during a private meeting Tuesday to nominate Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb for the state's top job, a spot that opened up after Pence dropped his re-election bid to become Donald Trump's running mate. Pence had endorsed Holcomb for the nomination.

Holcomb says he appreciates the committee's confidence in him to run against Democratic candidate John Gregg, who narrowly lost to Pence in the 2012 election.

U.S. Reps. Susan Brooks and Todd Rokita also sought the nomination and congratulated Holcomb after the nomination was announced. The committee's vote wasn't released by party leaders.

Five Things To Know About Mike Pence

Jul 14, 2016
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The buzz about Donald Trump’s vice-presidential pick is centering on Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

The Indianapolis Star is reporting that Pence “is dropping his re-election bid in Indiana to become Donald Trump’s running mate.”

Trump’s campaign has announced it will officially make an announcement on who his pick is at 11 am ET Friday from Trump Tower in New York. A campaign spokesman tweeted that the campaign is not confirming any vice-presidential pick at this point and said a decision has not yet been made.

Pence has been governor of Indiana since 2013. Before that, he served as the congressman from Indiana’s sixth congressional district from 2000 to 2012. House Speaker Paul Ryan praised Pence Thursday: “It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Mike Pence’s. We’re very good friends. I’ve very high regard for him.”

He called Pence a “good movement conservative.” Pence would help reassure conservatives, who have had their doubts about Trump, about what kind of president he would be. That’s critically important as the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, is set to kick off Monday. The clearest signal that Pence could be Trump’s pick came from a list of speakers the campaign released Thursday. It included Newt Gingrich and Chris Christie, two reported finalists for the job, but excluded Pence.

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Former Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh is launching a bid to again represent Indiana in the U.S. Senate.

Bayh announced Wednesday that he would seek to make the political comeback. Two days earlier, former U.S. Rep. Baron Hill cleared the way by withdrawing as the Democratic nominee.

Bayh complained of the partisanship and gridlock when he left the Senate in 2010, but says he “can no longer sit on the sidelines.”

Bayh ‘s return boosts the chances of Democrats to win the seat held by Republican Sen. Dan Coats, who is retiring.

National Democrats pushed for Bayh to enter the race, seeing him as having a better chance to defeat GOP candidate U.S. Rep. Todd Young as Democrats seek to gain the four or five seats they need to win Senate control.

Federal Judge Blocks Indiana Abortion Law

Jun 30, 2016

A federal judge has blocked a new Indiana law that bans abortions sought because of a fetus’s genetic abnormalities.

U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt released a ruling Thursday that grants the preliminary injunction sought by Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky. The law was to set to take effect Friday.

Pratt said the state doesn’t have the authority to limit a woman’s reasons for ending a pregnancy. She said the Indiana law would go against U.S. Supreme Court rulings that states may not prohibit a woman from seeking an abortion before fetal viability.

Indiana and North Dakota are the only states with laws banning abortions that are sought due to fetal genetic abnormalities, such as Down syndrome, or because of the race, sex or ancestry of a fetus. The Indiana law also requires that aborted fetuses be buried or cremated.

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Donald Trump dealt Ted Cruz's campaign a fatal loss with his victory in the Indiana GOP primary. Later on Tuesday night, The Texas senator suspended his bid for the White House.

In the Democratic race, Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton, but his victory still won't be enough to close the yawning gap between the two.

Indiana proved decisive in the GOP contest. With his Indiana victory, Trump crossed the 1,000-delegate threshold. He's 84 percent of the way to getting the 1,237 delegates he needs, and he needs just 37 percent of the remaining delegates to get there. It was already mathematically impossible for either Cruz or Ohio Sen. John Kasich to get a majority of delegates on the first convention ballot.

After Cruz suspended his campaign, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted that Trump would be the GOP's presumptive nominee and that the party should unite behind him.

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Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders brought his call for a political revolution to Evansville Monday.

Speaking a day before Indiana’s primary, Sanders told an estimated crowd of more than 3,000 people that the country will be watching tomorrow to see who the Hoosier State supports.

The Evansville Courier and Press reports Sanders told the crowd at Old National Events Plaza that America needs less corporate greed, and a $15-an-hour minimum wage.

Sanders is trailing Hillary Clinton by about 300 pledged delegates.

But Clinton has a huge advantage in support among superdelegates---the Democratic Party leaders who can back any candidate they like at the party’s nominating convention.

Taylor Glascock for NPR

Many manufacturing towns dot the cornfields and highways of Indiana, which holds its presidential primary Tuesday, but two in particular tell the story of very different economic fortunes, and political ties.

Kokomo is an old auto town touched by President Obama's push to bail out the auto industry. And Gary is a rundown steel city with unusual ties to Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, who tried to jump start the city's economy in the '90s and '00s.

But, that doesn't mean the presidential politics there line up with their benefactors.

Indiana is the country's leading manufacturing state per capita — more than 17 percent of Hoosiers work in the industry. And despite recent global trends, manufacturing remains a major influence in the state's economy — as well as its presidential politics.

As Gary got rusty, Trump came ... and went

Gary, Ind. is a city built by U.S. steel on the south shore of Lake Michigan.

Darron Cummings/AP

Ahead of the potentially pivotal Indiana primary Tuesday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence announced he will be voting for Republican candidate Ted Cruz.

"This is a time for choosing," Pence said on WIBC radio in Indianapolis. He called Cruz, a senator from Texas, a "principled conservative" who "stood up for taxpayers" in fighting spending in Washington, said he was "very impressed" with his "knowledge and devotion" to the Constitution and his "strong, unwavering stand" against abortion rights.

But Pence seemed to go out of his way to praise Republican front-runner Donald Trump. He also stressed that his endorsement was not intended to sway the votes of Indiana Republicans.

"I respect the right of every Hoosier in making their determination," Pence said, adding, "I encourage everyone to make up their own mind."

In fact, Pence mentioned Trump before mentioning his endorsement of Cruz.

Alcoa Public Relations

After 56 years in operation, the Alcoa smelter in Warrick County, Indiana has shut down. The aluminum plant ended operations March 24.

The Evansville Courier and Press reports the smelter had 600 employees and about 325 of those have been laid off.  Aloca said the rest have accepted retirement or severance packages or found other employment.

Alcoa announced the shutdown in January and blamed it on the drop in aluminum prices.  

The Alcoa Warrick smelter was one of the last coal-fired smelters in the country.

Judge Blocks Indiana’s Syrian Refugee Order

Mar 1, 2016
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A federal judge in Indianapolis has blocked Republican Gov. Mike Pence’s order barring state agencies from helping Syrian refugees resettle in Indiana.

Monday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt comes in response to a request for a preliminary injunction from the group Exodus Refugee Immigration, which helps resettle refugees.

Pratt wrote in her 36-page opinion that the governor’s directive “clearly discriminates against Syrian refugees based on their national origin.”

More than two dozen states, most with Republican governors, have taken similar action to suspend Syrian resettlement programs.

Pence had cited concerns following the deadly Paris terrorist attacks when issuing the order in November. He’s noted a passport found near one of the suicide bombers had been registered along the route asylum seekers from Syria are taking through Europe.