2006 United States House of Representatives elections in Indiana

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2006 United States House of Representatives elections in Indiana

← 2004 November 7, 2006 (2006-11-07) 2008 →

All 9 Indiana seats to the United States House of Representatives
  Majority party Minority party
Party Democratic Republican
Last election 2 7
Seats won 5 4
Seat change Increase3 Decrease3
Popular vote 812,496 831,785
Percentage 48.74% 49.90%
Swing Increase7.39% Decrease7.28%

The 2006 congressional elections in Indiana were elections for Indiana's delegation to the United States House of Representatives, which occurred along with congressional elections nationwide on November 7, 2006. Indiana played a key role in helping Democrats sweep Congress, when three Republican incumbents were defeated: (Chris Chocola, John Hostettler and Mike Sodrel), giving the Democrats a majority of the delegation again.[1] Republicans held a majority of Indiana's delegation, 7–2, before the elections.


United States House of Representatives elections in Indiana, 2006[2]
Party Votes Percentage Seats +/–
Republican 831,785 49.90% 4 -3
Democratic 812,496 48.74% 5 +3
Libertarian 17,324 1.04% 0 -
Independents 5,317 0.32% 0 -
Totals 1,666,922 100.00% 9 -

District 1[edit]

United States House of Representatives, Indiana District 1 map.gif

This district is located in Northwest Indiana and borders Chicago. The district has been one of the most Democratic in Indiana.

Indiana's 1st congressional district election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Pete Visclosky (incumbent) 104,195 69.65
Republican Mark Leyva 40,146 26.83
Independent Charles E. Barman 5,266 3.52
Total votes 149,607 100.00
Democratic hold

District 2[edit]

Historical boundaries of Indiana's 2nd Congressional District (2003-2013).gif

This district is centered on South Bend and the Indiana portion of the Michiana region.

Chocola defeated Tony Zirkle, an attorney, Navy veteran, and frequent candidate, in the Republican primary on May 2, 2006, by 70% to 30%. Zirkle, who said he was "willing to debate the idea of returning the guillotine and lynch mob for those who prey on children under the age of 12", was unable to get Chocola to debate him on that or any other subject.[3]

Donnelly raised about $1.5 million to Chocola's $3.2 million.[4][5] In mid-August, in a report on National Republican Congressional Committee planned spending, the Associated Press reported that "the GOP has not reserved advertising time to aid Rep. Chris Chocola in Indiana even though Democrats plan to spend at least $700,000 to win the district. House Republicans have told Chocola that he must fend for himself, given his personal wealth and his ability to raise large amounts of money."[6]

A poll released in mid-June by the Donnelly campaign showed Donnelly leading 48% to 38% with 14% undecided. The campaign did not release all of the poll findings.[7] A poll released six days later, taken by the South Bend Tribune, showed the race to be at the margin of error with Donnelly at 46% and Chocola at 41%. The telephone poll interviewed 400 likely voters who were asked whom they would vote for "if the election were held now".[8]

On August 16, the Cook Political Report changed the rating for the race from "Lean Republican" to "Toss-Up", saying "Despite a significant fundraising advantage over Democrat Joe Donnelly, which has helped fuel a barrage of negative attack ads, incumbent GOP Rep. Chris Chocola looks more like an underdog than the frontrunner." Also in August 2006, Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, a Web site run by the University of Virginia Center for Politics, added the race to their "Ferocious Forty" list of the 40 most competitive House races in the nation.[9]

On November 7, 2006, Chocola lost his congressional seat to Democratic candidate Joe Donnelly, whom Chocola had defeated in 2004. The final tally showed Chocola losing by a 54–46 margin, almost an identical reversal of his fortunes in 2004. The election had a much lower turnout than the previous campaign, and the difference appeared to come in St. Joseph County. Historically a Democratic stronghold, Chocola lost it by only a few hundred votes while cruising to victory in 2004. In 2006, however, Donnelly won the county by nearly 14,000 votes, garnering 58% of the vote in what is by far the most populous county of the district.[10]

Indiana's 2nd congressional district election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joe Donnelly 103,561 53.98
Republican Chris Chocola (incumbent) 88,300 46.02
Total votes 191,861 100.00
Democratic gain from Republican

District 3[edit]

IN03 109.gif

This district is located in the northeast corner of Indiana and has a large population center in Fort Wayne.

Indiana's 3rd congressional district election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mark Souder (incumbent) 95,421 54.28
Democratic Tom Hayhurst 80,357 45.72
Total votes 175,778 100.00
Republican hold

District 4[edit]

United States House of Representatives, Indiana District 4 map.png

This district is located in west-central Indiana. Located within the district is the city of West Lafayette and many suburban towns.

Indiana's 4th congressional district election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Steve Buyer (incumbent) 111,057 62.38
Democratic David Sanders 66,986 37.62
Total votes 178,043 100.00
Republican hold

District 5[edit]


This district located mostly north of Indianapolis, including the largest suburbs of Indianapolis in Hamilton County.

Indiana's 5th congressional district election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dan Burton (incumbent) 133,118 64.96
Democratic Katherine Fox Carr 64,362 31.41
Libertarian Sheri Conover Sharlow 7,431 3.63
Write-ins 18 0.01
Total votes 204,929 100.00
Republican hold

District 6[edit]


This district takes in a large portion of eastern Indiana, including the cities of Muncie, Anderson, and Richmond.

Indiana's 6th congressional district election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Pence (incumbent) 115,266 60.01
Democratic Barry A. Welsh 76,812 39.99
Total votes 192,078 100.00
Republican hold

District 7[edit]

A map of Indiana with District 7 highlighted
District 7, roughly encompassing Indianapolis and Marion County.

This election pitted five-term incumbent Democrat Julia Carson against Republican Eric Dickerson.

Automobile dealer Eric Dickerson[11] is a native of Detroit, Michigan and a graduate of Western Michigan University where he received his B.S. in engineering. Dickerson is a former U.S. Marine Corps officer and served with the HMA 269 Attack Squadron in Jacksonville, North Carolina. He later served in the Indiana National Guard.

Julia Carson had held this Congressional seat based in urban Indianapolis since 1997, and had always won by comfortable margins. Republicans hoped to take the seat in the 2006 elections after redistricting made the 7th slightly more Republican, though Democrats still held the advantage.

Dickerson ran an aggressive grass-roots campaign, defeating the party-endorsed candidate, Ronald Franklin, and two other candidates in the Republican primary on May 2, 2006. He gained further support as the campaign progressed, with an October poll shocking observers of both parties when it showed Dickerson narrowly leading Carson 45% to 42%. Carson dismissed the poll, saying that she always polled more strongly than expected on election day. She was proven correct, winning her sixth term on November 7, 2006.

Republican primary
Eric Dickerson 54%
Ronald Franklin 22%
John Bauer 18%
Michael Simpson 6%
Democratic primary
Julia Carson 81.2%
Kris Kiser 11%
Bob Hidalgo 4.6%
Joseph 'Hippie Joe' Stockett 2.0%
Pierre Quincy Pullins 0.8%

This district is in the heart of Central Indiana and encompasses most of Marion County/Indianapolis.

Indiana's 7th congressional district election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Julia Carson (incumbent) 74,750 53.76
Republican Eric Dickerson 64,304 46.24
Total votes 139,054 100.00
Democratic hold

District 8[edit]

Indiana's 8th congressional district.png

Population centers of Evansville and Terre Haute are located within its limits along with numerous other small towns.

Indiana's 8th congressional district election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Brad Ellsworth 131,019 61.02
Republican John Hostettler (incumbent) 83,704 38.98
Total votes 214,723 100.00
Democratic gain from Republican

District 9[edit]


This district is located in southeast Indiana. Suburbs of Cincinnati and Louisville are located within the district. The largest city is Bloomington followed by; Columbus, New Albany, Jeffersonville, and Clarksville.

Indiana's 9th congressional district election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Baron Hill 110,454 50.01
Republican Mike Sodrel (incumbent) 100,469 45.49
Libertarian D. Eric Schansberg 9,893 4.48
Write-in 33 0.01
Total votes 220,849 100.00
Democratic gain from Republican

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Democrats Take House by a Wide Margin". NPR. 2006-11-08. Retrieved 2006-12-11.
  2. ^ http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/electionInfo/2006/2006Stat.htm#14
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-03-15. Retrieved 2013-12-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ [2][permanent dead link]
  6. ^ [3]
  7. ^ [4]
  8. ^ [5]
  9. ^ [6]
  10. ^ [7]
  11. ^ Dickerson is not related to the football player also named Eric Dickerson.
Preceded by
2004 elections
United States House elections in Indiana
Succeeded by
2008 elections