2018 Indiana Midterm Elections

Hoosiers Warned About Voter Participation Letter

May 4, 2018
(Photo provided to IPB News)
Jill Sheridan

People across Indiana are contacting the Secretary of States office to report they’ve received letters that claim to be voting record audits. 

The letter from the “Indiana State Voter Report Program” lists voter information on past participation as well as that of friends and neighbors.  

Indiana has restrictions on voter participation records, only providing it to political parties and legislative caucuses.  

Voter advocacy groups say an Indiana law will illegally throw Hoosiers off the voting rolls. And they’re suing to stop the state from using that law. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Voter advocacy groups say an Indiana law will illegally throw Hoosiers off the voting rolls. And they’re suing to stop the state from using that law.

A federal court hearing Wednesday centered on Indiana’s use of what’s known as the Interstate Crosscheck system.

The Senate Republican primary's final debate was a microcosm of the race: the candidates focused mostly on attacking each other. (Darron Cummings/Indiana Debate Commission)
Brandon Smith

There are three Republicans vying for a chance to unseat incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) – former state representative Mike Braun, Rep. Luke Messer (R-Greensburg) and Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg). Their race has been dubbed one of the nastiest in the country. It's a campaign where attacks have been many, while policy differences are few.

GOP Senate Candidates On The Attack In Final Debate

Apr 30, 2018
Indiana's Republican U.S. Senate candidates (from left) Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg), Rep. Luke Messer (R-Greensburg), and Mike Braun greet each other after the final debate before the May primary election. (Darron Cummings/Indiana Debate Commission)
Brandon Smith

The final debate between Republican U.S. Senate candidates Mike Braun, U.S. Rep. Luke Messer (R-Greensburg) and U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) was focused almost entirely on attacks between each candidate.

The moderator at one point implored them to answer his specific question – a request the candidates mostly ignored.

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) is one of three candidates vying for a chance to challenge incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) (Tyler Lake/WTIU)
Brandon Smith

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) is one of three candidates hoping to emerge from the state’s Republican primary and face incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) this fall. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith discussed the campaign with Rokita, who formerly served as Indiana’s Secretary of State.

Barbara Brosher / WTIU/WFIU

For the final time in the Republican Primary race, U.S. Rep.'s Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, along with Mike Braun, will debate for the U.S. Senate race. The winner in the May 8th primary election will go on to face Democratic incumbent, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly.

The live video stream is available here:

Messer Discusses Issues In Bruising Senate Primary

Apr 27, 2018
Rep. Luke Messer (R-Greensburg) is one of three Republicans vying to unseat incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) (Tyler Lake/WTIU)
Brandon Smith

Three Republican candidates are jockeying for a chance to unseat Democratic incumbent Senator Joe Donnelly this year. Luke Messer joined that race after serving in Congress since 2013 – with a few years at the Statehouse on his resume before that. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith talked with Messer about issues in the bruising GOP primary campaign.

Former state representative Mike Braun is one of three candidates running for a chance to face incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) (Tyler Lake/WTIU)
Brandon Smith

Indiana’s three Republican U.S. Senate candidates – Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, and businessman Mike Braun – will meet Monday evening for the final debate before the May 8 primary.

That's amid controversy that’s swirled around the event hosted by the nonpartisan Indiana Debate Commission.

Last month, Rokita said no to the Indiana Debate Commission. Commission President Gerry Lanosga says he was surprised.

Federal Judge: Marion County Must Open More Early Voting Sites

Apr 26, 2018

A federal judge ruled Marion County must provide at least two new early voting satellite sites before the November election.

Common Cause Indiana, the Indiana State Conference of the NAACP and others filed suit last year arguing the county’s single early voting site suppressed voting.

U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker agreed with their argument in an injunction issued Wednesday.

When the polls close, you'll know. Tune-in for election night coverage, beginning at 6:00 PM, Tuesday, May 8th. You can follow the latest updates on social media, as well, with #NWIPolitics.

Starting at 6:00 PM, Lakeshore Public Radio - 89.1 FM will air statewide primary election night coverage from Indiana Public Broadcasting. Stan Jastrzebski, News Director of WBAA, will host the first hour of coverage from West Lafayette, IN.

Shelbie J. Luna / Instagram

Ragen Hatcher and Jessica Renslow debate for the open State Representative of District 3 seat. Chris Nolte, host of "Regionally Speaking," moderated the debate, held at Temple Israel, in Gary, IN. The debate was in partnership with the League of Women Voters of the Calumet Area. Primary election night coverage will be on-air, on Tuesday, May 8th, at 6:00 PM, on Lakeshore Public Radio - 89.1 FM.

Click here for the Facebook Live video feed from the debate.

The first wave of 2018 school funding referenda are up for consideration in about two weeks. That means voters in several counties will have the power to approve or deny tax measures to make millions of dollars available for their local schools.

Purdue University economics professor Larry DeBoer says school funding referenda are usually more likely to pass in May, and the overall number of those winning voter approval has grown in recent years.

GOP Candidates Square Off In Second Primary Debate

Apr 24, 2018
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Allen County GOP

The three candidates facing off for the Republican Senate nomination in the May 8 primary election held their second debate Monday night in Fort Wayne.

Donnelly Announces Support For Trump Nominee Pompeo

Apr 23, 2018
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) says he had a productive conversation with Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo when they met earlier this month. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) announced Monday he’ll support President Trump’s Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo.

The Senate is expected to vote on Pompeo’s nomination this week – and the former CIA director and Kansas congressman is likely to secure enough votes to replace former Secretary Rex Tillerson.

That’s as progressive groups work to oppose Pompeo’s nomination.

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Debate Commission’s April 30 televised U.S. Senate Republican primary debate includes a three-candidate field in what will be the only statewide debate offered live to hundreds of Indiana media outlets.

U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita had initially declined, while Indiana businessman Mike Braun and U.S. Rep. Luke Messer had confirmed the hour-long time slot to debate. With all three now committed with an agreement signed today, the April 30 debate will be broadcast 7 p.m. EDT.

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) reversed a previous decision, announcing Tuesday he will participate in a Senate GOP primary debate organized by the nonpartisan Indiana Debate Commission. (WFIU/WTIU)
Brandon Smith

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) reversed a previous decision, announcing Tuesday he will participate in a Senate GOP primary debate organized by the nonpartisan Indiana Debate Commission.

Potential Spike In Young Voter Turnout, Poll Shows

Apr 12, 2018
A new national poll shows a potential spike in young people voting in this year’s midterm elections. (Daniel Morrison/Flickr)
Brandon Smith

A new national poll shows a potential spike in young people voting in this year’s midterm elections.

Thirty-seven percent of people under the age of 30 say they will definitely vote in November’s election. That’s up from 23 percent who said the same in 2014, the last midterm cycle.

Donnelly Re-Election Campaign Targets Women Voters

Apr 10, 2018

Supporters for U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.)’s re-election campaign gathered in Indianapolis to make the case women should support Donnelly for a second term.

In 2016, 53 percent of Hoosier women voted for President Donald Trump.

But following the recent women’s marches in Indiana, Donnelly’s supporters, including state Rep. Cherrish Pryor (D-Indianapolis), say they are confident some of those same women, who voted for Trump, will vote for Donnelly.

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Debate Commission is now accepting questions from Hoosier voters for its April 30 statewide televised debate in the Republican U.S. Senate primary race. In keeping with its mission of “Putting Voters First,” the commission invites Hoosier voters to submit their questions on its revamped website, www.indianadebatecommission.com.

AP-Think Progress website

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana residents have less than a week left to register to vote in the May 8 primary election.

April 9 is the registration deadline. The Times reports that Indiana's secretary of state is encouraging residents who previously registered to vote to verify that their registration remains active and that the personal information in their voter record is correct.

Jessica Renslow / Facebook


Provided / Indiana NOW

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana is seeing a sharp increase in the number of women running for a seat in the state's General Assembly.

The Indianapolis Star reports that 75 women are campaigning for the May primary election, which is double the number of women who ran four years ago.

This year 52 women are running on the Democrat side, compared to 22 women in 2014. The Republican side has 23 candidates, an increase from 15 in 2014.

Stephanie Wiechmann / WIPR

Both Mike Braun and Jonathan Lamb have a few things in common besides being conservative Republicans.  Both are business owners.  Both are largely self-financing their campaigns and hoping for grassroots donations.  And both are campaigning against opponents with much better name recognition in Indiana.

“So when they first ran for Congress, what do they do?  Talk a good game, get up there, start calculating their vote based upon who gave the campaign check, and to survive.  To make it to the next election.”

Seven GOP Candidates Debate For 4th District Seat

Mar 24, 2018
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Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

A crowded pool of Republican candidates for the 4th district congressional seat met in Lafayette Saturday to debate issues ranging from gun control to federal spending and online security. The debate comes more than a month ahead of the May 8th primary.

Seven candidates are vying for the GOP nomination for what was previously Congressman Todd Rokita’s seat before he announced his run for Senate.

INDIANAPOLIS – Republican U.S. Senate candidates Mike Braun and Luke Messer have agreed to debate April 30 in a televised statewide event organized by the independent Indiana Debate Commission.

Former state lawmaker Mike Braun and Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) traded barbs while Rep. Luke Messer (R-Shelbyville) tried to stay above the fray in the first debate of the 2018 Republican primary for Indiana’s U.S. Senate seat.

Rokita set the tone early, using his opening statement to jab his opponents with oft-repeated claims: that Braun is new to the Republican Party and Messer doesn’t live in Indiana.

GOP Senate Candidates Set For First Debate

Feb 16, 2018

Indiana’s three Republican candidates for U.S. Senate – former state Rep. Mike Braun, U.S.Rep. Luke Messer (R-Shelbyville), and U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) – will meet this week in the campaign’s first debate in the lead up to May’s primary.

The GOP primary’s tone has been described by some as nasty and rancorous. University of Indianapolis political science professor Laura Merrifield Wilson says that’s unlikely to change in the debate.

Messer, Rokita Dodge On DACA Path To Citizenship

Feb 2, 2018

Indiana U.S. Representatives – and U.S. Senate candidates – Luke Messer and Todd Rokita won’t say for sure whether they’ll support a path to citizenship for DACA recipients.

DACA is a federal program that shields undocumented immigrants who came to the U-S as children. About 10,000 Hoosiers are enrolled.

President Donald Trump says he supports a path to citizenship for DACA recipients, over a period of around a decade.

Rep. Messer (R-Shelbyville) says the focus in immigration negotiations needs to be border security.

Indianapolis Women’s March Calls For Midterm Election Turnout

Jan 20, 2018

Speakers at the event represented organizations like Indy 10 Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood and Spencer Pride. (Photo by Drew Daudelin)


More than a thousand people showed up Saturday for the Women’s March in Indianapolis. A diverse line-up of speakers focused primarily on this year’s midterm elections.

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