INDIANAPOLIS – Hoosier voters showed an independent streak in an Oct. 16 Gravis poll, where 25 percent described themselves as independent or in another party, and 39 percent described their ideology as moderate.
“Hoosiers hold a wider range of views than Indiana’s political reputation would suggest. We may be a red state that typically votes for Republicans for governor and president, yet Obama won in 2008,” said Mark Rutherford, Libertarian candidate for secretary of state. “Indiana has had three Republican and two Democrat senators this century. Despite our conservative image, most pundits would describe Republican Richard Lugar and Democrat Evan Bayh as moderates, and this poll bears that out.”
For secretary of state, 9 percent prefer Rutherford, which with the 5.1+/- percent margin of error puts him in range for securing major-party ballot access for Libertarians. About 4 percent want George Wolfe, who’s running a write-in campaign because his Green Party didn’t get enough signatures to get a line on the ballot. Another 24 percent are undecided.
That comes to 37 percent who want someone outside of the major parties – more than the 29 percent for Democrat Jim Harper and the 35 percent for Republican Connie Lawson.
Indiana’s secretary of state race determines party ballot access. A party must get at least 2 percent of the secretary of state race to become a minor party and be on all Indiana ballots; if it receives 10 percent or more, it becomes a major party, which puts that party into primary elections.
Secretary of state duties include overseeing elections. Rutherford is concerned about gerrymandering, which has helped Republicans hold a disproportionate share of U.S. House and Indiana House and Senate seats. A third of Indiana’s Statehouse seats are unopposed, and a third more aren’t even slightly competitive.
“I will push for nonpartisan districting boards so that Hoosiers have genuine choices,” he said. “Politicians shouldn’t pick their voters. Voters should pick their politicians.”