The Indiana primary election, coming late in the schedule in a state noted for its monotonous politics (self serving Main Street conservatism with a top-dressing of religious-right freak show and a lingering whiff of Bircher isolationism ), is usually uninteresting even to those of us who live here. The Presidential candidates of both parties are always long decided, and unless you happen to have a dog in the fight in a local race, your only reason to show up for the primary at all is to keep up your reputation as a person who Always Votes.
Not this year. Both major candidates are undecided, the Republican side viciously so, and Indiana is suddenly the center of national attention and very much In Play. It’s an odd feeling. My day kind of got away from me and I didn’t get over to the neighborhood elementary school where our precinct has its polling place until after 4 pm. And I was number 399, the three hundred and ninety ninth person to vote today in the seventh precinct. In a primary. At 4:30 in the afternoon. There was a line. The highest number I have ever had before was 276, and that was in a general election.
What a year. And it’s only May.