Votes have been cast, but see just how many people turned out! Which candidate do you think they were voting for?
Indiana steps into the national spotlight Tuesday with a primary election that could play a significant role in deciding Republican and Democratic presidential contests, as well as a spirited Senate GOP primary election and crowded races for Republican nominations in two U.S. House districts. Two state Senate Republican primaries also are drawing attention as Senate leaders try to fend off challenges.
Voters cast a record number of early ballots and high turnout is expected, especially in some heavily Republican counties in suburban Indianapolis.
Candidates from both parties have traversed the state over the past two weeks, visiting local hotspots and flooding the airwaves with ads.
Indiana has 57 Republican and 92 Democratic delegates for their party national conventions this summer.
Thirty of the Republican delegates will go to the winner of the statewide primary vote. GOP rivals Donald Trump or Sen. [score]Ted Cruz[/score] (R-TX) are likely to share the remaining 27 delegates as three are awarded to the winner in each of Indiana’s nine congressional districts. Trump is looking to strengthen his front-runner status. Ohio Gov. John Kasich effectively ended his Indiana campaign last week with a deal letting Cruz face Trump head on.
Indiana’s Democratic delegates are awarded based on the vote percentage for Hillary Clinton or Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in each congressional district.
Early voting turnout has hit record highs with more than 270,000 people casting ballots ahead of the primary, according to the Indiana Election Division. Early voting totals through Sunday already were nearly 50 percent more than the state’s record for early voting set in the 2008 primary — which featured the tight race between Barack Obama and Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Election Division Co-Director Angie Nussmeyer said she doesn’t know whether the jump in early voting will mean higher turnout overall for the primary or shows more awareness of it as an option for voters. Higher turnout is anticipated in strongly Republican counties, such as Hamilton and Johnson counties in suburban Indianapolis.
About 62 percent of the applications for early or absentee voting have been for Republican ballots.