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Indiana Straight-ticket Voters Spark Worry Among Local Republicans

This story was written by Elvia Malagon, Indiana Daily Student

As local Republicans ate hordeurves and refreshments on election night, one thing was on everyones mind: straight-ticket voters.

Local politicians such as Don Francis, who ran for county council at large, were worried the large number of IU students who support Barack Obama didnt do enough research on the local race and voted a straight Democratic ticket.

I hope all the students (had) the opportunity to do their homework and didnt do straight ticket (voting), Francis said.

Francis was one of the local Republicans who gathered inside of KRC Banquet & Catering on South College Avenue to watch the results unfold.

Republican candidate for county auditor Vivien Bridges said she hesitated about running in this years election because of the big names on the presidential tickets that could affect the political parities all together.

I feel like I had to work very hard because Im running on the Republican ticket, and its a little more of an uphill climb for us in this county, Bridges said. I do know that I talked to a lot of students who didnt feel comfortable voting in the local elections, which was good because I really think that they can affect our local elections without knowing if they just pull a straight party.

At around 9:26 p.m. feelings started to change as the crowd of about 40 began to cheer when Gov. Mitch Daniels gave his speech after his victory was declared.

It is giving me more hope than I expected at 6 p.m. it really changed my expectations for the state and local races, Francis said. Maybe the students didnt vote straight tickets after all.

For others such as Monroe County Republican Chair Gene Moncel, Daniels victory was not a surprise. However, Moncel said he was not sure how the win would play into local races.

In the 9th District Congressional race, Democrat Baron Hill was declared the winner, but Moncel and others said it was not much of a surprise.

The numbers were in Congressman Hills favor, Moncel said.

Republican treasurer candidate Barbara Clark said neither the results of Daniels nor Hills victory was an indication of who would win the local races.

Clark, who was ahead in her race around 9 p.m., said the Obama campaign in Bloomington was more organized than John McCains local organization. Like others, Clark said students who straight-ticket voted without knowledge of the local candidates might impact the entire local elections.

Christine Talley Haseman said she didnt want to count all the Republican chickens before they were hatched, despite what Indiana race results were.

Like most of the local Republican Party, Haseman said she would have to wait until all of the local Monroe County election results were in.

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