Ignored Hoosiers May Turn Blue

Obama is within striking distance in typically Republican Indiana
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2008 2:25 PM CDT
The crowd stands in the mud to hear Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., speak at a rally at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – Indiana has voted Republican 16 times in the past 17 presidential elections, so why is Barack Obama even bothering to run ads and rally? The state that favored George W. Bush over John Kerry 60-39% is showing surprising support for Obama—enough that he could scrape out a win, Salon reports. And if that does happen, it'll be because the Obama team spotted opportunity among that state's long history of campaign neglect.

The dead-heat Democratic primary inspired voters, a big boost in the state with the worst overall turnout percentage in 2004. Dems decided to use the bump as a launch pad, and even Republicans are in awe of how Obama's run his statewide campaign. And fiscal conservatives are uneasy over Sarah Palin's social views, while others worry about John McCain's economic policies.