The Journal Gazette
Sunday, July 29, 2018 1:00 am

Hoosiers like governor over US senators

NIKI KELLY and BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

Gov. Eric Holcomb is more popular than either of Indiana's U.S. senators, according to polling firm Morning Consult.

The pollster reported last week that 52 percent of Hoosier voters approved of Holcomb during the year's second quarter, 23 percent disapproved and 25 percent did not know or had no opinion.

Morning Consult said 42 percent of Indiana voters approved of Republican Sen. Todd Young, 28 percent disapproved and 30 percent had no opinion. And  41 percent of Hoosier voters approved of Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly, 34 percent disapproved and 25 percent did not know or had no opinion. 

Donnelly is being challenged in the Nov. 6 general election by Republican Mike Braun. Holcomb stands for re-election in 2020, and Young does in 2022.

Morning Consult said the nation's most popular governor is Massachusetts Republican Charlie Baker, approved by 69 percent of his state's voters. The best-liked senator is Vermont independent Bernie Sanders, approved by 63 percent of his state's voters.

The highest disapproval rating among governors was 74 percent of state voters for Oklahoma Republican Mary Fallin. Among senators, it was 56 percent for Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. 

Education group endorses Tritch

The Network for Public Education Action has endorsed Courtney Tritch, the Democratic candidate in northeast Indiana's 3rd Congressional District.

“One of her highest priorities is fully supporting our public schools,” the public education advocacy organization said about Tritch.

“Strong public schools are one of the bedrocks of American society, and providing adequate funding is essential to ensure that both our teachers and students have the resources they need to succeed,” Tritch said in a statement.

Tritch, a Fort Wayne marketing consultant, is challenging Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Columbia City in the Nov. 6 general election.

Walorski's odds trimmed to 'likely'

A third prominent political analyst has decided that Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-2nd, is no longer a sure bet for re-election.

Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics on Tuesday shifted Walorski's re-election chances from “safe” to “likely.” Walorski is being challenged by Democrat Mel Hall.

Walorski, whose district includes parts of Kosciusko County, previously was rated likely for re-election by the Cook Political Report and Nathan Gonzales' Inside Elections.

Sabato's Crystal Ball also changed Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, R-9th, from safe to likely. Hollingsworth, who is opposed by Democrat Liz Watson in the southern Indiana district, is rated as safe by Cook and Gonzales.

Jehl urges fixing urban sidewalks

A Fort Wayne City Council member Tuesday discussed again what he said is a need to create a capital improvement plan.

Councilman Russ Jehl, R-2nd, said there's a need to address a disparity between Fort Wayne's suburbs and the urban core in funding for sidewalks and other improvements. Jehl praised the level of investment in neighborhood infrastructure improvements, but he said streets and sidewalks downtown and in the city's urban neighborhoods need funding as well. 

“I hope that if we do get serious again about creating a capital improvement plan, we do address this disparity,” Jehl said. “Because I can't explain why we'd spend three times more for suburb streets that are concrete and then ask the urban core to pay half for theirs.”

Dave Gong contributed to this report.

To reach Political Notebook, email Brian Francisco at or Niki Kelly at An expanded Political Notebook can be found as a daily blog at

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