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Indiana's 8th Congressional District elections, 2012

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Indiana's 8th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
May 8, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Larry Bucshon Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Larry Bucshon Republican Party
Larry Bucshon.jpg

Indiana U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8District 9

2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Indiana.png
The 8th congressional district of Indiana held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012.

Incumbent Larry Bucshon (R) won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012.[1]

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
February 24, 2012
May 8, 2012
November 6, 2012

Primary: Indiana has an open primary system, in which any registered voter can choose which party's primary to vote in, without having to be a member of that party.

Voter registration: Voters had to register to vote in the primary by April 9. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 9.[2]

See also: Indiana elections, 2012

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent was Larry Bucshon (R), who was first elected in 2010. He won re-election on November 6, 2012.

This is the 8th congressional district prior to the 2010 redistricting.

This was the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. Indiana's 8th congressional district was based in southwest and west central Indiana, anchored in Evansville and including Terre Haute, Vincennes and Washington. Vermillion, Parke, Vigo, Clay, Owen, Greene, Sullivan, Knox, Daviess, Martin, Dubois, Pike, Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh, Warrick, Spencer, Perry and Crawford counties were included in the district. [3]


Note: Election results were added on election night as races were called. Vote totals were added after official election results had been certified. For more information about Ballotpedia's election coverage plan, click here. If you find any errors in this list, please email: Geoff Pallay.

General election candidates

Democratic Party Dave Crooks
Republican Party Larry BucshonGreen check mark transparent.png
Libertarian Party Bart Gadau

May 8, 2012, primary results

Democratic Party Democratic primary

Republican Party Republican primary

Election Results

General Election

U.S. House, Indiana District 8 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Dave Crooks 43.1% 122,325
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngLarry Bucshon Incumbent 53.4% 151,533
     Libertarian Bart Gadau 3.6% 10,134
Total Votes 283,992
Source: Indiana Secretary of State "House of Representatives Election Results"

Democratic Primary

U.S. House of Representatives Indiana, District 8 Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDave Crooks 57.7% 18,634
Thomas Barnett 32.9% 10,638
William Bryk 9.4% 3,023
Total Votes 32,295

Republican Primary

U.S. House of Representatives Indiana, District 8 Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngLarry Bucshon Incumbent 58% 34,511
Kristi Risk 42% 24,960
Total Votes 59,471

Race background

Indiana's 8th District was included in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Red to Blue List," which identifies districts that the organization has specifically targeted to flip from Republican to Democratic control.[8]

Indiana's 8th is considered to be Leaning Republican according to the New York Times race ratings. Incumbent Larry Bucshon was challenged by former state legislator Dave Crooks. It appears as though it will be an uphill battle for the challenger.[9]


Incumbent Larry Bucshon was endorsed by the National Rifle Association in the 8th district race in 2012.[10] On April 24, 2012, Bucshon was endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.[11]

Democratic candidate Dave Crooks received endorsement from the Blue Dog Coalition on April 26, 2012.[12]

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in Indiana

The newly-drawn map was designed to produce seven districts which are favorable to the Republican Party and two which favor the Democratic Party.

The 8th district was made slightly more favorable to Democrats in redistricting, as a result of the removal of Fountain County, Putnam County and Warren County, all of which favor Republicans, and the addition of Dubois County, Perry County, Spencer County and part of Crawford County, all of which strongly favor neither party.[13]

In redistricting, The Hill published a list of the Top Ten House Members who were helped by redistricting.[14] Todd C. Young, representative from Indiana's 9th congressional district ranked 10th on the list.[14] The article notes that in the redistricting process, controlled by Republicans, Young benefited from taking pockets of Republicans from Larry Bucshon’s district next door in the 8th district and adding them into Young's 9th district, resulting in a vulnerable District 8.[14]

Analysts viewed the race as leaning toward Larry Bucshon, despite the weakened Republican support in the new district.[15]

The new 8th district is composed of the following percentages of voters of the old congressional districts.[16][17]

District partisanship

FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012 study

See also: FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012

In 2012, FairVote did a study on partisanship in the congressional districts, giving each a percentage ranking (D/R) based on the new 2012 maps and comparing that to the old 2010 maps. Indiana's 8th District became more Democratic because of redistricting.[18]

  • 2012: 45D / 55R
  • 2010: 44D / 56R

Cook Political Report's PVI

See also: Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index

In 2012, Cook Political Report released its updated figures on the Partisan Voter Index, which measures each congressional district's partisanship relative to the rest of the country. Indiana's 8th congressional district has a PVI of R+8, which is the 141st most Republican district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by John McCain (R), 51-49 percent over Barack Obama (D). In 2004, George W. Bush (R) won the district 62-38 percent over John Kerry (D).[19]

Campaign donors


Dave Crooks

Dave Crooks Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[20]April 15$245,237.18$210,289.77$(61,290.13)$394,236.82
Pre-Primary[21]April 26$394,241.82$7,496.49$(16,193.12)$385,545.19
July Quarterly[22]July 15$385,545.19$212,994.71$(68,349.25)$530,190.65
October Quarterly[23]October 15, 2012$530,190.65$194,555.29$(541,993.04)$182,752.90
Running totals

Larry Bucshon

Larry Bucshon Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[24]April 15$394,368.47$96,670.00$(83,924.16)$407,114.31
Pre-primary[25]April 26$407,114.31$1,800.00$(142,490.57)$266,423.74
July Quarterly[26]July 15$266,423.74$208,784.95$(88,357.48)$386,851.21
October Quarterly[27]October 15, 2012$386,851.21$404,812.89$(469,033.67)$322,630.43
Running totals

District history


On November 2, 2010, Larry Bucshon won election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated W. Trent VanHaaften (D) and John Cunningham (L) in the general election.[28]

U.S. House of Representatives, Indiana's 8th Congressional District, General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngLarry D. Bucshon 57.5% 117,259
     Democratic W. Trent VanHaaften 37.4% 76,265
     Libertarian John Cunningham 5% 10,240
Total Votes 203,764

See also

External links


  1. Politico "2012 Election Map, Indiana"
  2. Indiana Elections Division "2012 Calendar Brochure," Accessed July 24, 2012
  3. Indiana Redistricting Map "Map" Accessed July 24, 2012
  4. Evansville Courier Press.com "Democratic leaders will caucus to choose 8th District candidate" accessed December 16, 2011
  5. 5.0 5.1 Indiana Secretary of State Elections Division "Candidate List" accessed February 7, 2012
  6. The New York Times "House Freshmen Post Fund-Raising Numbers" accessed December 16, 2011
  7. Evansville Courier Press.com "Bucshon to face GOP opponent Kristi Risk for 8th District seat" accessed December 16, 2011
  8. DCCC, "Red to Blue 2012"
  9. New York Times "House Race Ratings," Accessed August 10, 2012
  10. NRA Political Victory Fund "Indiana" Accessed April 27, 2012
  11. Bucshon for Congress "Dr. Bucshon Endorses by U.S. Chamber of Commerce" Accessed May 1, 2012
  12. Blue Dog Dems "Blue Dogs Endorse Three More Candidates 2012" Accessed May 1, 2012
  13. Roll Call "Race Ratings: GOP Poised to Scoop Up a Seat" Accessed February 29, 2012
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 The Hill "House members most helped by redistricting" Accessed April 17, 2012
  15. WIBC "Redistricting Reshuffles Congressional Races to Watch" Accessed October 16, 2012
  16. Moonshadow Mobile's CensusViewer "Arizona's congressional districts 2001-2011 comparison"
  17. Labels & Lists "VoterMapping software voter counts"
  18. "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in Indiana," September 2012
  19. Cook Political Report "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" Accessed October 2012
  20. Federal Election Commission "Dave Crooks April Quarterly" Accessed October 8, 2012
  21. Federal Elction Commission "Dave Crooks Pre-primary" Accessed October 8, 2012
  22. Federal Election Commission "Dave Crooks July Quarterly" Accessed October 8, 2012
  23. Federal Election Commission "Dave Crooks July Quarterly" Accessed October 22, 2012
  24. Federal Election Commission "Larry Bucshon April Quarterly" Accessed October 8, 2012
  25. Federal Election Commission "Larry Bucshon Pre-primary" Accessed October 8, 2012
  26. Federal Election Commission "Larry Bucshon July Quarterly" Accessed October 8, 2012
  27. Federal Election Commission "Larry Bucshon October Quarterly" Accessed October 22, 2012
  28. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"