Indiana, so heavily Republican that it has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1964, has become an unexpected battleground in this year’s Congressional elections. [...]Plant closings and cut backs, concerns about the high cost of health care, and uneasiness about the economy. It appears that Michigan isn't the only state feeling the pain.
What is happening here in the Crossroads of America? [...]
Voters seem focused on larger matters. From the hills of New Albany near the Kentucky border to the gray streets of Mishawaka near the Michigan border, scores of voters in the three districts said in interviews that they were uneasy about Iraq, illegal immigration, the economy and the cost of health care. [...]
Representative Chris Chocola, a Republican, and the Democrat, Joe Donnelly, a lawyer and businessman, are in a race that was never supposed to be so close, though the district has elected Democrats in the past.
The economy and immigration loom as large as Iraq in this blue-collar district. Many auto-parts plants have closed or been cut back. Workers are nervous, and some say that Mr. Chocola does not understand their predicament because he is independently wealthy.
Plant workers blame Washington for higher gasoline prices, which hurt demand for automobiles; for spending money on Iraq that could be spent at home; and for failing, as they see it, to stop illegal immigrants from taking jobs in nonunion shops. [...]
“Billions of dollars go to China, they’re taking away our jobs, and they call it free trade,” said Richard Rittenhouse Jr., leaning against a friend’s pickup after their shift at the AM General Hummer H2 plant in Elkhart.
Illegal immigrants, whose numbers are relatively small in Indiana, but are concentrated in some areas, are “working hard and cheap” in nonunion plants Mr. Rittenhouse said, while union jobs are trimmed.
Monday, October 23, 2006
The Not So "Great" State of Indiana
Another NYT article contradicts DeVos' statement that the rest of the country is doing "great" except for Michigan.