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Democratic Insiders See Indiana as Obama’s Biggest Hurdle in 2012 Democratic Insiders See Indiana as Obama’s Biggest Hurdle in 2012

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Democratic Insiders See Indiana as Obama’s Biggest Hurdle in 2012


President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden toured a Chrysler plant last November in Kokomo, Indiana.(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

From the states that he won in 2008, Democratic operatives believe that President Obama will have the most difficulty carrying Indiana again when he runs for reelection, according to a special National Journal Political Insiders Poll released on Tuesday.

Choosing from a list of 10 swing states that he won in 2008, Democratic Political Insiders were asked to rank the top five states one-thru-five that would be the hardest for Obama to carry in 2012. Indiana was the clear consensus pick of the Democratic Insiders for where the president’s reelection campaign is likely to encounter the most difficulty—nearly two thirds of the Democratic Political Insiders ranked it first on their list.


Following the Hoosier State, the next four states that the Democratic Insiders predicted would be the hardest for Obama to carry were: North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, and Ohio.

Rank the top 5 states in terms of which ones you think are going to be the hardest for President Obama to carry in 2012.

Democrats (101 votes)

Index Score

  • Indiana  87%
  • North Carolina  57%
  • Virginia  47%
  • Florida  35%
  • Ohio  32%

Also receiving votes: New Hampshire, 13%; Colorado, 8%; Iowa, 7%; Nevada, 7%; Missouri, 3%; New Mexico, 3%; Montana, 1%; Arizona, North Dakota, Michigan, and Minnesota, less than 1%.

“There’s no way he keeps Indiana; the economy and weakness of Indiana Democrats makes this exceedingly difficult,” said one Democratic Insider. Echoed another: “It’s the state most reliant on manufacturing and that helped in ’08, but now hurts Obama.” And a third Democratic Insider observed that Indiana “went red in last election; was fluke he won there in 2008.”

In tallying the rankings, a first-place vote was worth five points, a second-place vote was worth four points, and so on. The Insiders Index reflects the percentage of points that each state received out of the maximum possible. For example, Indiana scored an Index rating of 87, meaning it received 87 percent of the possible 505 points; the number it would have received if all 101 Democratic Political Insiders participating in the poll this week had ranked Indiana first as the state that would be the hardest for Obama to carry in 2012.

The National Journal Political Insiders Poll is a regular survey of political operatives, strategists, campaign consultants, and lobbyists in both parties. Below are the names of the Democratic Insiders who are surveyed:


Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Deb Callahan, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Kam Kuwata, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bill Lynch, Bob Maloney, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Donnell, Scott Parven, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Wendy Sherman, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Katrina Swett Sarah, Swisher, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

Peter Bell contributed contributed to this article.

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