WWDBS (What Would David Brooks Say) about Evansville Politics


David Brooks in an article in the New York Times titled “The Next Two Years” predicts a thrashing defeat for President Obama at the hands of the electorate this coming Tuesday. He attributes this defeat to the fact that independent voters who supported Democrats in 2008 have abandoned the Democrats in 2010 in favor of Republican candidates. The swing in support among these independents has been nearly 30 points.

This national trend is having great influence in the turnout and sentiment of local races as well. As the City County Observer pointed out in its “Polls vs. Moles” report, right here in Evansville that is usually shows strong support for Democratic candidates, Republicans are surging in areas that have never elected a Republican to any office. For the eight (8) Moles to tie in opinion with respect to the 77th Indiana House District race between Gail Riecken (D) and Cheryl Musgrave (R) is a testament to the local receptiveness to Republican candidates in a part of SW Indiana where Republican sentiment has been low for ages.

Brooks goes on to state the obvious reasons for the departure of the independents from the arms of “Change” such as public debt, inefficient government, crumbling infrastructure, and runaway spending. That which plays in Washington and the nation certainly has spilled over to Vanderburgh County. The shallow support for the Downtown Arena, the outright opposition to the $18M Ballfields, the bearish demeanor of the County residents to consolidation, and citizens astonishment at local governments use of Stimulus funds on fluff projects like the green alley is a microcosm of the backlash to “Hope and Change” that has enveloped the country.

The City County Observer’s readers poll on the preference of straight tickets vs. split ticket voting continues to draw votes. The preferences are maintaining a 3:1 lead for split tickets over straight party voting for either party. These independent voters are not only poised to determine the makeup of both legislative bodies or our federal government, but are engaged locally and keeping our elected leaders feet to the fire. If sentiment toward Democratic policies does not shift back in 2011, the independent voter phenomena that Mr. Brooks has pointed out today on the federal level will possibly reshape the makeup of the Evansville City Council to a more balanced roster for the first time in 50 years.

This is a link to Mr. Brooks’ column. Evansville and Vanderburgh County are very much in step with national independents on today’s changes and allocation of support.


  1. King John and many of his courtesans will voted out of office in Evansville in 2011.
    We’ve had “Enough”!

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