Archive of all posts

Mr. Bayh goes to Indianapolis: A look at Birch Bayh as State Representative

Before Birch Bayh became a “modern day Founding Father” in the U.S. Senate, he served in the Indiana General Assembly. But there’s been virtually nothing written about his four terms there, until now.

Reading Time: 8 minutes

A brief history of Indiana’s female legislators

Julia Nelson never set out to be the first woman elected to the Indiana General Assembly. She was added to the ballot just days before the 1920 election, beginning an unbroken streak of Hoosier women legislators.

Reading Time: 6 minutes

How and why a national wave election translates (or doesn’t) in Indiana

It’s generally assumed that national wave elections wash up on shore in most states. But what does the historical record show about wave elections in Indiana? The answer might surprise you.

Reading Time: 5 minutes

A quick look at U.S. Supreme Court Justices from Indiana

With Seventh Circuit Justice Amy Coney Barrett on a short list of potential Supreme Court nominees for President Trump, it begs the question: How many Hoosiers have served on the highest court in the land?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The close convention upset that history mostly forgot

For most Hoosier political junkies, it is the 1968 Indiana Republican Convention that best exemplifies a convention floor fight. But that race was as dramatic as people remember, and it was the Democratic Convention that year that should be remembered.

Reading Time: 5 minutes

What’s different about modern conventions?

Modern state party conventions don’t usually feature the drama of those held in the more distant past. Here’s a look at why that seems to be the case, and what used to be at stake.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Historical Odds and Ends: What’s old is new again

As we’ve watched political events in Indiana unfold over the past few weeks, there’s a temptation to suggest that we’re witnessing things that have never happened before. But with more than 200 years of state history to draw on, it turns out that King Solomon was probably right: There is nothing new under the sun.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

New page show legislative vacancy/caucus data

A new page has been added that updates automatically every time a a legislative vacancy is filled by a caucus election of precinct committeemen.

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Filling in the data on filling vacant legislative seats

Back in October of 2013, Niki Kelly wrote an article for the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette analyzing the number of state legislators who first came into the General Assembly by way of a partisan caucus, rather than through a general election. Five years later, I’ve pulled more data together to re-look at this issue.

Reading Time: 5 minutes