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Election 2012: Could Indiana’s 6th District Showdown Shock The GOP?

Still Image From Luke Messer's Latest TV Ad


In Indiana’s 6th Congressional District, the GOP Establishment has their man:  Luke Messer.

Messer has been named one of the NRCC’s “Young Guns”.

Messer has raised well over a Half-Million dollars thus far in the 2012 campaign.

Messer has received endorsements from leaders around the state.

It certainly appears that the race is set in stone, and the rest is just a formality…… or is it?

There is a man gaining huge momentum in the campaign and invading the hometown of both myself, and Luke Messer.


That man is Don Bates Jr.

He is not on the NRCC’s radar.

He has raised only $152,000.

Few outside of the GOP Establishment have predicted his victory


Rolling off the heels of his 2010 Senate Primary loss to former lobbyist Dan Coats, Don Bates is not giving up his fight.  In fact, he looks more motivated now in 2012 than he did in 2010.  The financial adviser from Richmond, Indiana is making bold moves in his bid to represent Indiana in Washington.

The Don Bates Campaign has invaded enemy territory.

Hundreds of signs have been planted all over the fast-growing Indianapolis suburb of Shelbyville – the previously mentioned hometown of opponent Luke Messer.  Not only do the “Bates For Congress” signs outnumber the “Messer For Congress” signs along the major thoroughfares – Don Bates’ signs are larger and more visible than Messer’s.


“The Bates Insurrection” has been launched.


This coup by Bates is not limited to just campaign signs along the side of the road.  Bates looks to be winning the Social Media war, as well.

At the time of this article’s writing, Luke Messer’s Twitter account has only 3 updates in 2012: two in February, and one in early April.  Meanwhile, Don Bates has a steady flow of updates on his Twitter timeline.  The disparity is not quite the same on their Facebook pages, however, as Messer is winning the “Like” battle and updating nearly as frequently as Bates, but not quite.


Candidates at the BSU Debate

Marketing tactics aside, the biggest evidence of “The Bates Insurrection” was during the Ball State University debate on April 17th, 2012.  Don Bates seemed more confident, matter of fact, and more poised than any other candidate on stage, including Messer.

Furthermore, the mere fact that Luke Messer even attended the debate came as a surprise to me, as I was informed in February by a campaign insider that Mr. Messer would not even be attending the BSU debate.

The change in heart by the Messer campaign makes me believe that “The Bates Insurrection” is proving effective, and putting pressure on the one-time “front runner” in the race to replace 6-term congressman Mike Pence – who is now running for Governor.

What will happen when Hoosiers go to the polls on May 8th?  Will “The Bates Insurrection” prevail, or will the NRCC Young Gun meet expectations?


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Comments (3)

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  1. Scott Pyle says:

    This is not the year to be a pick of the party. Just look at Lugar. We need a true conservative to continue the work of Mike Pence and that man is Don Bates Jr.

  2. Mary Carrell says:

    In the last election we ended with Dan Coats who was a lobbyist and now we have another party pick who is a lawyer politican and a lobbyist. Now tell me would you follow Messer or would you want to vote for someone who is running because he knows the problems understand the problems and has viable solutions to the problems. We need fresh ideas in Congress not people who have been groomed to be part of the ole boy Republican Party.

  3. David Lantz says:

    Not only is Bates gaining on the “young gun,” he’s winning over supporters of Travis Hankins. See http://batesorhankins.wordpress.com/