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« Strategy Memo: As A Doornail | Blog Home Page | Perdue-McCrory Set In NC »

Long Thompson Eeks Out Win

Ex-Rep. Jill Long Thompson appears to have won an incredibly narrow victory over architect Jim Schellinger for the Democratic nomination to take on Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels in November. With fifteen precincts left to count, Long Thompson has a 50.2%-49.8% lead over Schellinger, a margin of about 5,000 votes.

Schellinger left his campaign's after-party around midnight, the Indianapolis Star reports, and he will wait until this morning to review results. He had trailed throughout the evening before overtaking Long Thompson late last night, but, as in the presidential contest, late returns from Lake County provided the winning margin, going for Long Thompson with 54% of the vote. Long Thompson spent her final hours on the primary campaign trail in Lake County, the Star reported.

With her victory comes another steep climb before November. The one-time member of Congress, who lost her seat in the 1994 Republican Revolution, will face Daniels; polls have shown either a close race or a Daniels blowout. But Long Thompson spent much of her money winning the primary, while Daniels was able to stockpile his own. Finance reports through the end of March showed Daniels had just under $5.3 million in the bank, while Long Thompson had just $484,000 in reserve a full month before her primary.

Though he remains ahead in most polls, Daniels is not the most popular incumbent. And some outside groups have shown a willingness to get involved on Long Thompson's behalf; she was endorsed by EMILY's List, the prominent Democratic fundraising organization, and received a $100,000 contribution from the Service Employees International Union just two days before the primary. Still, she will likely need all the help she can get to overcome Daniels.