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Hogsett foresees very close races

Democrat candidate for Indiana Att. Gen. Joe Hogsett says he believes the Joe Kernan-Mitch Daniels race for governor will be ‘the closest gubernatorial election in our recent past,’ at least since Democrat Matthew E. Welsh defeated Crawford Parker in 1960 by 23,000 votes even though Richard Nixon carried Indiana.
Hogsett thinks Gov. Kernan, a Democrat, will mount a very effective campaign in the next 10 weeks and defeat his challenger Daniels and ‘lead us out of difficult times.’
Likerwise, he thinks the John Kerry-George Bush race ‘will be closer than any Presidential race I can remember, in Indiana,’ bearing in mind that in the Presidential elections in the last century, Indiana voters were generally more conservative than people in other parts of the country. Hoosiers voted for a Democrat only three times in 25 elections, for Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson, Hogsett noted.
Kerry’s race will affect every other race ‘down ballot.’ Hogsett thinks Kerry will run better in Indiana than expected.
An additional benefit to Democrat candidates, Hogsett said, is Sen. Evan Bayh’s race for re-election. His perennial attractiveness will be ‘a countermeasure to whatever advantage the Republicans enjoy.’
Hogsett said he thinks Democrats like Bayh, Frank O’Bannon, Lee Hamilton, Baron Hill and other conservative Democrats like them enjoyed success because they were ‘fiscally sound and responsible with the tax dollar.’