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The Journal Gazette

Monday, June 25, 2018 3:30 pm

NBC sees Indiana as political barometer

The political mood of the country will be found in Indiana this fall, according to NBC News journalists.

Chuck Todd, host of "Meet the Press," and correspondents Mark Murray and Carrie Dann wrote Monday morning on their "First Read" blog that Indiana's U.S. Senate race might be "the best bet" to become "a true bellwether contest about the state of the country in 2018."

They wrote that Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., lacks "the strong personal and political brand" of other Democratic senators up for re-election in November, while Republican challenger Mike Braun "doesn't have the political baggage of being a 'D.C. insider.' "

As a result, the Hoosier State's midterm election is "more of a generic Democrat v. Republican ballot than most of the other marquee Senate races elsewhere in the country," they wrote.

"So, while other races may get more attention because of the larger-than-life national profiles of the candidates or the familiar battleground terrain, look to Indiana for what might be the most instructive contest to show us how the overall political climate is shaping up – and who will control the chamber after voters head to the polls," the NBC team wrote.

Indiana is among seven states whose Senate races are considered toss-ups by political analysts and will determine which party controls the Senate, where Republicans have a 51-49 advantage.