In addition to Indiana’s 2nd congressional district race, the 8th district race is also competitive and may result in a change of party representation. The House Seat is currently held by Republican Larry Bucshon, who has only held the seat since the 2010 election.
He is being challenged by Democrat Dave Crooks, a former state representative. Since Representative Bucshon is so new to Congress, he will have a difficult time holding on to his incumbent advantage.
A major factor that makes this race competitive is the recent redistricting from 2010. The plan has made almost every Republican district safe, except for the 8th congressional district. Furthermore, it will most likely turn the 2nd congressional district, which is currently Democratic, into a Republican District. If Republicans can hold this seat, they will be able to produce a gain in House Representatives in Indiana.
The Money Factor
Being new to the House of Representatives, Congressman Larry Bucshon is finding it difficult to raise money compared to incumbents that have been serving for many years. He is not able to take advantage of the fundraising advantage that most incumbents enjoy.
On the other hand, Dave Crooks has been able to outraise Congressman Bucshon two quarters in a row. Now, Crooks has almost $150,000 more in his campaign bank account than Bucshon. More money allows candidates to run more ads and create better grassroots organizations. This may give Crooks the edge he needs to make this race extremely competitive.
A Major Issue
Both candidates have been frequently clashing over the issue of Medicare. There are many seniors in the 8th congressional district, meaning the issue is pertinent to a large percentage of the voters. Since the presidential candidates are discussing the issue as well, it is a topic that has heated up the race in the district.
Bucshon opposed Obamacare and remains committed to repealing it. He believes that Obamacare is detrimental to Medicare and to the economy. Crooks has used this as an attack on Bucshon for the campaign. He claims that repealing Obamacare would put Medicare at risk, leaving seniors exposed and vulnerable. The two candidates mirror the national dialogue between the two presidential candidates.
With recent developments, the race for Indiana’s 8th congressional district has become extremely competitive. It gives Democrats the opportunity to pick up a House seat to replace the one they may lose in the 2nd district. This will be a race to pay attention to for the next several weeks.