Indiana's 8th congressional district

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Indiana's 8th congressional district
Indiana US Congressional District 8 (since 2013).tif
Indiana's 8th congressional district - since January 3, 2013.
Representative
  Larry Bucshon
RNewburgh
Area7,041.64 sq mi (18,237.8 km2)
Distribution
  • 58.10% urban
  • 41.90% rural
Population (2000)675,564
Median income$50,666[1]
Ethnicity
Cook PVIR+15[2]

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 a political realignment similar to contemporary realignment happening in the Deep South and Appalachia, it has in recent elections become a safe Republican district.

Election results from presidential races[edit]

Year Office Results
2000 President George W. Bush 57% - Al Gore 42%
2004 President George W. Bush 62% - John Kerry 38%
2008 President John McCain 50.6% - Barack Obama 48.1%
2012 President Mitt Romney 58.4% - Barack Obama 39.6%
2016 President Donald Trump 64.6% - Hillary Clinton 31%

Counties located in Indiana's 8th Congressional District[edit]

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[edit]

(2010 Census)

2,500 - 10,000 people[edit]

(2010 Census)

History[edit]

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.[3] Voters in the district ousted six incumbents from 1966 to 1982. The election in 1984 was so close that the House of Representatives itself determined which of two candidates to sit, accepting the recommendation of a Democratically controlled House task force sent to Indiana to count the ballots, with the winner holding a margin of four votes out of 233,000 cast.[4] 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."[5]

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.[6] 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 members representing the district[edit]

Representative Party Years Cong
ress
Electoral history
District created March 4, 1843
Pettit.jpg
John Pettit
Democratic March 4, 1843 –
March 3, 1849
28th
29th
30th
[Data unknown/missing.]
Joseph E. McDonald - Brady-Handy.jpg
Joseph E. McDonald
Democratic March 4, 1849 –
March 3, 1851
31st [Data unknown/missing.]
Daniel Mace Democratic March 4, 1851 –
March 3, 1855
32nd
33rd
34th
[Data unknown/missing.]
Opposition March 4, 1855 –
March 3, 1857
JamesWilsonIN.jpg
James Wilson
Republican March 4, 1857 –
March 3, 1861
35th
36th
[Data unknown/missing.]
Albert Smith White.jpg
Albert S. White
Republican March 4, 1861 –
March 3, 1863
37th [Data unknown/missing.]
Godlove Stein Orth - Brady-Handy.jpg
Godlove S. Orth
Republican March 4, 1863 –
March 3, 1869
38th
39th
40th
Redistricted to the 7th district.
James Noble Tyner, Brady-Handy bw photo portrait, ca1865-1880.jpg
James N. Tyner
Republican March 4, 1869 –
March 3, 1875
41st
42nd
43rd
Elected to the term left vacant by the resignation of Representative-elect Daniel D. Pratt.
GenMCHunter.jpg
Morton C. Hunter
Republican March 4, 1875 –
March 3, 1879
44th
45th
Redistricted from the 6th district.
AbrahamJHostetler.jpg
Abraham J. Hostetler
Democratic March 4, 1879 –
March 3, 1881
46th [Data unknown/missing.]
Robert B. F. Peirce Republican March 4, 1881 –
March 3, 1883
47th [Data unknown/missing.]
John E. Lamb (LC-DIG-ggbain-13206).jpg
John E. Lamb
Democratic March 4, 1883 –
March 3, 1885
48th [Data unknown/missing.]
James T. Johnston cph.3a03384.jpg
James T. Johnston
Republican March 4, 1885 –
March 3, 1889
49th
50th
[Data unknown/missing.]
Elijah V. Brookshire Democratic March 4, 1889 –
March 3, 1895
51st
52nd
53rd
[Data unknown/missing.]
GeorgeWFaris.jpg
George W. Faris
Republican March 4, 1895 –
March 3, 1897
54th Redistricted to the 5th district.
CharlesLHenry.jpg
Charles L. Henry
Republican March 4, 1897 –
March 3, 1899
55th Redistricted from the 7th district.
GeorgeWCromer.jpg
George W. Cromer
Republican March 4, 1899 –
March 3, 1907
56th
57th
58th
59th
[Data unknown/missing.]
John Alfred McDowell Adair circa 1915.jpg
John A. M. Adair
Democratic March 4, 1907 –
March 3, 1917
60th
61st
62nd
63rd
64th
[Data unknown/missing.]
AlbertHenryVestal.jpg
Albert H. Vestal
Republican March 4, 1917 –
April 1, 1932
65th
66th
67th
68th
69th
70th
71st
72nd
Died.
Vacant April 1, 1932 –
March 3, 1933
John W. Boehne Jr. Democratic March 4, 1933 –
January 3, 1943
73rd
74th
75th
76th
77th
Redistricted from the 1st district.
Charles M. La Follette Republican January 3, 1943 –
January 3, 1947
78th
79th
[Data unknown/missing.]
E. A. Mitchell Republican January 3, 1947 –
January 3, 1949
80th [Data unknown/missing.]
Winfield K. Denton.jpg
Winfield K. Denton
Democratic January 3, 1949 –
January 3, 1953
81st
82nd
[Data unknown/missing.]
D. Bailey Merrill.png
D. Bailey Merrill
Republican January 3, 1953 –
January 3, 1955
83rd [Data unknown/missing.]
Winfield K. Denton.jpg
Winfield K. Denton
Democratic January 3, 1955 –
December 30, 1966
84th
85th
86th
87th
88th
89th
Resigned.
Vacant December 30, 1966 –
January 3, 1967
Roger H. Zion.jpg
Roger H. Zion
Republican January 3, 1967 –
January 3, 1975
90th
91st
92nd
93rd
[Data unknown/missing.]
Philip Hayes.png
Philip H. Hayes
Democratic January 3, 1975 –
January 3, 1977
94th [Data unknown/missing.]
David L. Cornwell.png
David L. Cornwell
Democratic January 3, 1977 –
January 3, 1979
95th [Data unknown/missing.]
H Joel Deckard.png
H. Joel Deckard
Republican January 3, 1979 –
January 3, 1983
96th
97th
[Data unknown/missing.]
Frank McCloskey.jpg
Frank McCloskey
Democratic January 3, 1983 –
January 3, 1985
98th [Data unknown/missing.]
Vacant January 3, 1985 –
May 1, 1985
Election contested and the House of Representatives refused to seat anyone.
Frank McCloskey.jpg
Frank McCloskey
Democratic May 1, 1985 –
January 3, 1995
99th
100th
101st
102nd
103rd
Lost Re-Election
Repjhostettler.jpg
John Hostettler
Republican January 3, 1995 –
January 3, 2007
104th
105th
106th
107th
108th
109th
Lost Re-Election
Brad Ellsworth, official 110th Congress photo.jpg
Brad Ellsworth
Democratic January 3, 2007 –
January 3, 2011
110th
111th
Retired to run for U.S. Senate
Larry Bucshon official congressional photo.jpg
Larry Bucshon
Republican January 3, 2011 –
Present
112th
113th
114th
115th
116th
Elected in 2010.

Election results[edit]

2002[edit]

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  
Republican hold

2004[edit]

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  
Republican hold

2006[edit]

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  
Democratic gain from Republican

2008[edit]

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  
Democratic hold

2010[edit]

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  
Republican gain from Democratic

2012[edit]

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  
Republican hold

2014[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

As of January 2019, 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 (served 1979-1983) on September 6, 2016. The most recently serving representative to die was Frank McCloskey (served 1983-1995) on November 2, 2003.

Representative Term of office Date of birth (and age)
Roger H. Zion 1967–1975 (1921-09-17) September 17, 1921 (age 97)
Philip H. Hayes 1975–1977 (1940-09-01) September 1, 1940 (age 78)
John Hostettler 1995–2007 (1961-06-19) June 19, 1961 (age 57)
Brad Ellsworth 2007-2011 (1958-09-11) September 11, 1958 (age 60)

Historical district boundaries[edit]

2003 - 2013
Indiana congressional districts before and after the most recent redistricting

Note: There has been another change since the "most recent" image, reflected correctly on the 'Indiana districts' page.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.census.gov/mycd/?st=18&cd=08
  2. ^ "Partisan Voting Index – Districts of the 115th Congress" (PDF). The Cook Political Report. April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  3. ^ "And They're Off And Running!". U.S. News & World Report. January 16, 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-07.
  4. ^ http://articles.latimes.com/1986-10-29/news/mn-8026_1_house-race
  5. ^ Dirk Johnson, "The 2000 Campaign: An Indiana Race; Conservatives Face Off in Quirky Populist District", New York Times, October 10, 2000
  6. ^ "Democrats pick up key House seat in Indiana". CNN.com. Retrieved 2007-01-07.

External links[edit]

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