Indiana Voters Will Decide Key Governor’s Battle With Abortion Differences

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 14, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Indiana Voters Will Decide Key Governor’s Battle With Abortion Differences Email this article
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by Maria Vitale Gallagher Staff Writer
October 14, 2004 Note: This is the sixth in a series of articles covering the 2004 elections state by state from the pro-life viewpoint.

Indianapolis, IN ( — Though they will also decide whether to re-elect a senator and vote in two competitive Congressional races, the marquee contest in the November election centers on two candidates vying to become the next governor. Political observers now predict that Indiana’s contentious governor’s race will be a close call.

Pro-life Republican Mitch Daniels faces pro-abortion Democrat Joe Kernan. Kernan has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion operation.

University of Notre Dame professor Robert Schmuhl told the Associated Press, “I think right now it’s certainly too close to hazard a guess on who might win."

Daniels served as budget director under President George W. Bush. His resume also includes stints as a political director for former President Ronald Reagan, an executive with the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical firm, and chief of staff for Sen. Richard Lugar.

Kernan served as a mayor of South Bend and lieutenant governor before becoming governor in September of last year after Gov. Frank O’Bannon died unexpectedly.

The race is expected to be the most expensive campaign in the history of the Hoosier state.

A recent poll by the Indianapolis Star and WTHR-TV showed Daniels with 46 percent and Kernan with 43 percent, with a margin of error of three percentage points. The survey also indicated that eight percent of respondents were undecided and 30 percent said they could be persuaded to vote for the other candidate.

A number of Indiana residents who are Catholic have taken Kernan to task for his failure to follow his faith when it comes to his public position on abortion.

Kernan was raised as a Catholic and even served as an altar boy, yet he supports legal abortion. Kernan’s alma mater, St. Joseph’s in South Bend, canceled the candidate’s speaking engagement there earlier this year because of his stand on the issue.

Meanwhile, Daniels has been quoted as saying that his Christian faith "makes me mindful of our common humanity and the equality of all, and the responsibility to the least among us."

Indiana voters must also cast votes for a U.S. Senator. Republican pro-life candidate Marvin Scott faces Democrat Evan Bayh in that match-up.

Bayh has voted the pro-abortion position 82 percent of the time. On his website, Bayh is described as establishing himself “as a leading mainstream voice in the Senate.” Yet, pro-life observers note that his positions on the life issues appear to follow the radical pro-abortion line.

Scott, who is African-American, has had a distinguished career in academia, serving on the faculties of numerous colleges and universities. In his current race, he has aligned himself with some prominent pro-life Republicans — his website shows him pictured with President George W. Bush and Illinois Senate candidate Alan Keyes, among other leading members of the GOP.

But Scott still faces an uphill battle. A recent statewide poll showed him running 39 points behind Bayh, who is seeking his second term.

In the Attorney General’s race, incumbent Steve Carter, a pro-life Republican, faces pro-abortion Democrat Joe Hogsett.

And in the Congressional races, a number of candidates with 100 percent pro-life voting records are up for election. They include Republican Chris Chocola (2nd district), Mark Souder (3rd district), Steve Buyer (4th district), Dan Burton (5th district), Mike Pence (6th district), and John Hostettler (8th district).

Related web sites:

Indiana Right to Life –
Marvin Scott campaign website –
Mitch Daniels campaign website –
WeVotePro-Life Voting Guide –