I think I’ve read this before, and I may even have linked to it before, but Alan Ehrenhalt, writing for Governing Magazine had an article back in April 2005 analyzing what it is about Daylight Saving Time that gets Hoosiers all worked up.
It goes through the pro-business arguments, and the rebuttal that there is no hard evidence showing companies worry too much about DST when making decisions. It goes through the fact that Indiana’s geographic location makes year around Eastern Standard Time a nice way to make sure the sun goes down at a reasonable hour in the summer and rises at a reasonable hour in the fall and spring. And, it goes through some of the other salient facts about Hoosiers’ century long fight over time.
I thought this part toward the end was fairly interesting:
Still, when powerful people argue this heatedly over what would seem to be an issue of only modest importance, one has to suspect that something larger is involved. In this case, I wonder if Indiana isn’t really having an argument about where in the country it actually belongs. An element of the state’s business elite has always wanted to line up chronometrically and politically with the corporate establishment in New York, the better to plug into global alliances and trade opportunities. And an equally vociferous Hoosier element has always been suspicious of those goals, believing that the state’s homespun Midwestern roots are the most attractive and important part of its self-image. Somehow, the issue of time has become intertwined with that rivalry in a way that has not been true anywhere else in the country