Pence Rejected Again by Hoosier Voters
Pence moves into tough general election, stumbling after failed Cruz endorsement
Today, the Democratic Governors Association issued the following statement on Indiana’s primary election results that set up a general election race between Democratic nominee John Gregg and Republican Gov. Mike Pence. Pence’s chosen presidential candidate, Ted Cruz, was also rejected by Hoosier Republican voters.
“Mike Pence thought he had a layup with Ted Cruz, but yet again couldn’t put the ball through the ‘basketball ring,’” said DGA Communications Director Jared Leopold. “Today, Hoosier voters rejected Governor Pence yet again – this time on a national stage. Mike Pence’s tenure as governor has been defined by embarrassing the state with a discrimination bill, presiding over a stagnant economy, and suffering a 17-point decline in his approval ratings.
“This latest rejection shows that Governor Pence is deeply endangered in the general election. In November, Pence will have to defend his record of driving employers away with a narrow social agenda. Democratic nominee John Gregg will work across party lines to create good jobs, improve schools and restore Indiana’s position as an economic leader.”
Entering the general election, the latest WTHR/Howey Politics poll finds Gregg within 4 points of Pence at 49-45%.
Pence saw his approval ratings drop by 17 points after signing an LGBT-discrimination law that cost Indiana’s tourism economy more than $60 million. Indiana political analyst Brian Howey described this drop in Pence’s approval numbers as “historic damage to his brand.”
Here’s a look at Pence’s record of failed leadership:
DISCRIMINATION LAW KILLS JOBS
Indianapolis Star: Official: RFRA cost Indy up to 12 conventions and $60M [1/26/16]
“The furor surrounding last year’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act might have cost the city of Indianapolis as many as 12 conventions and up to $60 million in economic impact”
Indianapolis Star: Angie’s List canceling Eastside expansion over RFRA [4/2/15]
“The continuing blowback over Indiana’s new ‘religious freedom’ law hit home Saturday, with Indianapolis-based Angie’s List announcing it is canceling a $40 million headquarters expansion.”
Indiana Business Journal: Editorial: Pence’s muddled speech lacked leadership [1/16/16]
“Indiana is a divided state and Gov. Mike Pence, in his fourth State of the State address, did little to unite it. […] it didn’t seem that Pence even tried.”
“Certainly, no one expected Pence to put LGBT civil rights on his legislative agenda. But asking him to provide leadership on what’s become Indiana’s most divisive issue—an issue he helped create—didn’t seem like too much to ask. It appears it was.”
PLUMMETING POLL NUMBERS
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: Polling in the governor’s race [5/2/16]
“His penchant for going all-in on social issues, such as the religious freedom law; opposition to anti-discrimination protections and new abortion law, have him struggling.”
Howey Politics: The historic damage to the Pence brand [4/16/15]
“Gov. Pence finds himself facing what I call historic damage to his brand. Pence’s favorable/unfavorables stand at 35/38 percent, his job approval stands at 45 percent approve to 46 percent disapprove, and he finds himself in close head-to-heads with three potential Democratic gubernatorial challengers, polling well below 50 percent.
“A modern Indiana governor has never experienced this kind of survey decline in this short time frame.”
Politico: Indiana poll: Pence’s ratings drop after ‘religious freedom’ law [4/16/15]
“The poll […] pegs Pence’s approval rating at 45 percent — while just as many, 46 percent, disapprove. Pence’s approval rating is down from 62 percent in February.”
Times of Northwest Indiana: Indiana’s economy among weakest in nation [6/10/15]
CNBC: Indiana ranks 46th in quality of life, 42nd in workforce [6/24/15]
Times of Northwest Indiana: Indiana income again near the bottom [3/26/16]
“Indiana’s personal per capita income remains mired near the bottom nationally, according to new U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data.
“The state’s per capita income was $40,998 last year, which was 38th in the United States. […] Indiana has been 38th in the nation for three straight years.”
Bureau of Labor Statistics [4/15/16]
“In March 2016, 15 states had statistically significant over-the-month changes in employment, 14 of which were positive. … The only significant job decrease occurred in Indiana (-9,000).”
EXTREME ABORTION LAW CRITICIZED BY GOP AND DEMS ALIKE
Indianapolis Star Columnist Matt Tully: Pence’s attack on women’s rights, and on Indiana [4/8/16]
“Gov. Mike Pence once again thrust Indiana into an unnecessary and harmful culture war. […] our horribly misguided and miscast governor waged a war on women’s rights. […] Even many abortion opponents have labeled this law unwise and harmful.”
“The outcry is the result of Indiana having a governor who thinks first and foremost not about what is best for the long-term health of this state, but about his personal ideological views, and about the wishes of a small band of social-issue lobbyists and leaders who now enjoy having a puppet in the governor’s office.”
“Time and again, he has committed the one foul a governor should never commit: He has recklessly hurt his state despite knowing his actions would do so.”
CRUZ ENDORSEMENT FLOPS
Washington Post: The remarkable lameness of Mike Pence’s Ted Cruz endorsement [4/29/16]
“This is what happens when politicians try to act too political. Swing and a miss for Pence.”