In a district that favors Republican issues, challenger Courtney Tritch (D) talked about health care while incumbent Congressman Jim Banks (R) focused on his achievements in his first term.
Both spoke before the Fort Wayne Rotary Club – a week apart – and PFW’s Mike Wolf isn’t surprised they chose those topics.
“She’s trying to go with the off-year approach to take a hit on the big issues about health care (dissatisfaction),” Wolf said.
“He’s a new member so it’s not surprising. This is often a career trajectory where you build up some of the constituency and district-level stuff early in your career. Build up some trust with the constituents and make your reelection that much easier.”
Even in polarized 2018, Wolf said some undecided independents and “soft” Democrats or Republicans could still be persuaded.
That includes the Indiana Senate race between challenger Mike Braun (R) and incumbent Senator Joe Donnelly (D). Both brought in vice-presidential firepower last Friday to try to rally support and change minds.
“They raise excitement, especially with Biden. He’s not Elizabeth Warren or someone on the left so it fits with the moderation (Donnelly) is trying to put forward,” Wolf offered
“And it’s big to have Vice President Pence come home.”
On November 2, WANE-TV, Your Local Election Headquarters, will host a debate between Banks and Tritch in studio at 7 p.m. moderated by Terra Brantley and Dirk Rowley.
Dr. Wolf will join WANE-TV every Tuesday at 6 p.m. to provide additional local coverage and analysis through the 2018 election.
Michael R. Wolf specializes in American Politics, Congress, Voting Behavior, and Comparative Electoral Behavior. He received his Ph.D. from Indiana University in 2002.