Indiana's 8th congressional district

Indiana's 8th congressional district
Indiana's 8th congressional district - since January 3, 2013.
Current Representative Larry Bucshon (RNewburgh)
Area 7,041.64 sq mi (18,237.8 km2)
Distribution
  • 58.10% urban
  • 41.90% rural
Population (2000) 675,564
Median income 36,732
Ethnicity
Cook PVI R+15[1]

Indiana's 8th congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Indiana. Based in Southwest and west central Indiana, the district is anchored in Evansville and also includes Jasper, Princeton, Terre Haute, Vincennes and Washington.

Commonly referred to as "The Bloody Eighth" at the local (and sometimes national) levels (See below for explanation), it was formerly a notorious swing district. However, due to redistricting it has in recent elections become a safe Republican district.

Counties located in Indiana's 8th Congressional District

As of 2013.

#
County
#
County
#
County
#
County
#
County
11
Clay

Brazil
26,556
13*
Crawford

English
10,713
14
Daviess

Washington
30,726
19
Dubois

Jasper
41,889
26
Gibson

Princeton
39,750
28
Greene

Bloomfield
33,750
42
Knox

Vincennes
38,920
51
Martin

Shoals
10,370
60
Owen

Spencer
21,790
61
Parke

Rockville
17,250
62
Perry

Tell City
19,332
63
Pike

Petersburg
12,845
65
Posey

Mt. Vernon
27,500
67
Putnam

Greencastle
10,100
74
Spencer

Rockport
20,952
77
Sullivan

Sullivan
21,750
82
Vanderburgh

Evansville
191,220
83
Vermillion

Newport
16,790
84
Vigo

Terre Haute
105,900
87
Warrick

Boonville
59,700

Cities of 10,000 or more people

(2010 Census)

2,500 - 10,000 people

(2010 Census)

History

Based in Evansville, the 8th Congressional District was widened when Indiana lost a seat after the 2000 U.S. Census to include much of the former 5th and 7th Congressional Districts. At that time, Bloomington (the home of former U.S. Representative Frank McCloskey) was moved into the 9th Congressional District, while the 8th Congressional District was extended northward to include much of the former 7th Congressional District in west-central Indiana, including Terre Haute. As a result of this expansion, the district is the largest in area in Indiana with all or part of 18 counties.

The district has been nicknamed "The Bloody Eighth" because of a series of hard-fought campaigns and political reversals. Unlike most other districts in the state, which frequently give their representatives long tenures in Washington, the 8th Congressional District has a reputation for frequently ousting its incumbents.[2] Voters in the district ousted six incumbents from 1966 to 1982. The election in 1984 was so close that it was decided in the House of Representatives. Although Southern Indiana is ancestrally Democratic, the Democrats in this area are nowhere near as liberal as their counterparts in the rest of the state; most of them are Blue Dogs. The district also has a strong tint of social conservatism.

In 2000, a New York Times reporter said of the district: "With a populist streak and a conservative bent, this district does not cotton to country club Republicans or to social-engineering liberals," and also said, "More than 95 percent white and about 41 percent rural, the region shares much of the flavor of the Bible Belt."[3]

The district was previously represented by Brad Ellsworth, a moderate Democrat. As a result of Ellsworth's landslide defeat of 12-year incumbent John Hostettler, it was the first district picked up by the Democrats on Election Night 2006.[4] Ellsworth ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 2010 and was succeeded by Republican Larry Bucshon in the same election cycle.

In 2013, the district shifted away from Northern Indiana and more towards Evansville, losing Fountain and Warren Counties, and gaining Dubois, Perry, and Spencer Counties, and a portion of Crawford County, uniting southwestern Indiana under one district.

List of representatives

Representative Party Years Electoral history
District created March 4, 1843
John Pettit Democratic March 4, 1843 –
March 3, 1849
[Data unknown/missing.]
Joseph E. McDonald Democratic March 4, 1849 –
March 3, 1851
[Data unknown/missing.]
Daniel Mace Democratic March 4, 1851 –
March 3, 1855
[Data unknown/missing.]
Opposition March 4, 1855 –
March 3, 1857
James Wilson Republican March 4, 1857 –
March 3, 1861
[Data unknown/missing.]
Albert S. White Republican March 4, 1861 –
March 3, 1863
[Data unknown/missing.]
Godlove S. Orth Republican March 4, 1863 –
March 3, 1869
Redistricted to the 7th district.
James N. Tyner Republican March 4, 1869 –
March 3, 1875
First elected to the term left vacant by the resignation of Representative-elect Daniel D. Pratt.
Morton C. Hunter Republican March 4, 1875 –
March 3, 1879
Redistricted from the 6th district.
Abraham J. Hostetler Democratic March 4, 1879 –
March 3, 1881
[Data unknown/missing.]
Robert B. F. Peirce Republican March 4, 1881 –
March 3, 1883
[Data unknown/missing.]
John E. Lamb Democratic March 4, 1883 –
March 3, 1885
[Data unknown/missing.]
James T. Johnston Republican March 4, 1885 –
March 3, 1889
[Data unknown/missing.]
Elijah V. Brookshire Democratic March 4, 1889 –
March 3, 1895
[Data unknown/missing.]
George W. Faris Republican March 4, 1895 –
March 3, 1897
Redistricted to the 5th district.
Charles L. Henry Republican March 4, 1897 –
March 3, 1899
Redistricted from the 7th district.
George W. Cromer Republican March 4, 1899 –
March 3, 1907
[Data unknown/missing.]
John A. M. Adair Democratic March 4, 1907 –
March 3, 1917
[Data unknown/missing.]
Albert H. Vestal Republican March 4, 1917 –
April 1, 1932
Died.
Vacant April 1, 1932 –
March 3, 1933
John W. Boehne, Jr. Democratic March 4, 1933 –
January 3, 1943
Redistricted from the 1st district.
Charles M. La Follette Republican January 3, 1943 –
January 3, 1947
[Data unknown/missing.]
E. A. Mitchell Republican January 3, 1947 –
January 3, 1949
[Data unknown/missing.]
Winfield K. Denton Democratic January 3, 1949 –
January 3, 1953
[Data unknown/missing.]
D. Bailey Merrill Republican January 3, 1953 –
January 3, 1955
[Data unknown/missing.]
Winfield K. Denton Democratic January 3, 1955 –
December 30, 1966
Resigned.
Vacant December 30, 1966 –
January 3, 1967
Roger H. Zion Republican January 3, 1967 –
January 3, 1975
[Data unknown/missing.]
Philip H. Hayes Democratic January 3, 1975 –
January 3, 1977
[Data unknown/missing.]
David L. Cornwell Democratic January 3, 1977 –
January 3, 1979
[Data unknown/missing.]
H. Joel Deckard Republican January 3, 1979 –
January 3, 1983
[Data unknown/missing.]
Frank McCloskey Democratic January 3, 1983 –
January 3, 1985
[Data unknown/missing.]
Vacant January 3, 1985 –
May 1, 1985
Election contested and the House of Representatives refused to seat anyone.
Frank McCloskey Democratic May 1, 1985 –
January 3, 1995
Lost Re-Election
John Hostettler Republican January 3, 1995 –
January 3, 2007
Lost Re-Election
Brad Ellsworth Democratic January 3, 2007 –
January 3, 2011
Retired to run for U.S. Senate
Larry Bucshon Republican January 3, 2011 –
Present
First elected in 2010.

Election results

2002

Indiana's 8th Congressional District Election (2002)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Hostettler* 98,952 51.31
Democratic Bryan Hartke 88,763 46.02
Libertarian Pam Williams 5,150 2.67
Total votes 192,865 100.00
Turnout {{{votes}}}
Republican hold

2004

Indiana's 8th Congressional District Election (2004)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Hostettler* 145,576 53.37
Democratic Jon P. Jennings 121,522 44.55
Libertarian Mark Garvin 5,680 2.08
Total votes 272,778 100.00
Turnout {{{votes}}}
Republican hold

2006

Indiana's 8th Congressional District Election (2006)
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Brad Ellsworth 131,019 61.02
Republican John Hostettler* 83,704 38.98
Total votes 214,723 100.00
Turnout {{{votes}}}
Democratic gain from Republican

2008

Indiana's 8th Congressional District Election (2008)
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Brad Ellsworth* 189,109 64.75
Republican Greg Goode 102,940 35.25
Total votes 292,049 100.00
Turnout {{{votes}}}
Democratic hold

2010

Indiana's 8th Congressional District Election (2010)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Larry Bucshon 117,259 57.55
Democratic Trent Van Haaften 76,265 37.43
Libertarian John Cunningham 10,240 5.03
Total votes 203,764 100.00
Turnout {{{votes}}}
Republican gain from Democratic

2012

Indiana's 8th Congressional District Election (2012)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Larry Bucshon* 151,533 53.36
Democratic Dave Crooks 122,325 43.07
Libertarian Bart Gadau 10,134 3.57
Total votes 283,992 100.00
Turnout {{{votes}}}
Republican hold

2014

Indiana's 8th Congressional District election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Larry Bucshon (Incumbent) 103,344 60.32
Democratic Tom Spangler 61,384 35.83
Libertarian Andrew Horning 6,587 3.84
Total votes 171,315 100
Republican hold

2016

Indiana's 8th Congressional District election, 2016
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Larry Bucshon (Incumbent) 187,702 63.69
Democratic Ronald L. Drake 93,356 31.68
Libertarian Andrew Horning 13,655 4.63
Total votes 294,713 100
Republican hold

Living former Members

As of May 2015, four former members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana's 8th congressional district are alive. The most recent representative to die was H. Joel Deckard (1979-1983) on September 6, 2016. The most recently serving representative to die was Frank McCloskey (1983-1995) on November 2, 2003.

Representative Term of office Date of birth (and age)
Roger H. Zion 1967–1975 September 17, 1921
Philip H. Hayes 1975–1977 September 1, 1940
John Hostettler 1995–2007 June 19, 1961
Brad Ellsworth 2007-2011 September 11, 1958

Historical district boundaries

See also

References

  1. "Partisan Voting Index – Districts of the 115th Congress" (PDF). The Cook Political Report. April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  2. "And They're Off And Running!". U.S. News & World Report. January 16, 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-07.
  3. Dirk Johnson, "The 2000 Campaign: An Indiana Race; Conservatives Face Off in Quirky Populist District", New York Times, October 10, 2000
  4. "Democrats pick up key House seat in Indiana". CNN.com. Retrieved 2007-01-07.

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