The South Bend Tribune has a column by Jack Colwell on polling data that suggests Governor Daniels is a political liability for Republicans in the geographic area of Indiana’s Second Congressional District. Generally speaking, that area is the North-Central portion of Indiana, represented by Chris Chocola, and containing Carroll, Cass, Pulaski, Fulton, Starke, Marshall, LaPorte, and St. Joseph Counties. (See a map here. The link is to a blog that appears to be covering House races nationwide and associated to one degree or another by the folks from MyDD and DailyKos.
According to the column, when residents of that area were asked about their approval of Mitch Daniels, the percentages were as follows:
Here are the percentages:
Very Positive — 10
Somewhat Positive — 21
Somewhat negative — 19
Very Negative — 33
Not sure – 17
Obsessed as I am with the subject, I think it’s necessary to point out that the counties making up the 2nd Congressional District were on the front lines of the time zone/Daylight Saving Time issue. LaPorte County is on Central Time, borders St. Joseph County, and has been routinely snubbed by the Governor as he has asserted how important it is that St. Joe share a time zone with Elkhart County, utterly ignoring the welfare of LaPorte County. St. Joseph County petitioned for Central Time and was preliminarily approved by the US Dept. of Transportation. Governor Daniels went out of his way to oppose the petition, breaking the law by doing so. The rest of the counties in the 2nd, Carroll, Cass, Pulaski, Fulton, Starke, and Marshall petitioned for Central Time but had their petitions denied by the Dept. of Transportation, leaving the citizens of those counties disgruntled about the Governor’s push for Eastern Daylight Time after campaigning in favor of Central Daylight Time. And, just as an added bonus, area residents will have to switch their clocks from Eastern Daylight Time back to Eastern Standard Time just before election day, so the issue will undoubtedly be fresh in their mind.
The polling column also posits Governor Daniels push to privatize the Toll Road running through those counties as another source of unhappiness. With numbers that bad, Democrats in the area will certainly use the Governor as an albatross to hang around the necks of their Republican opponents.