FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The presidential political beast is coming to the Hoosier state in full force with rumors spreading that presidential candidates could be stepping foot on Indiana soil this week.
“It’s obviously exciting that the candidates are considering coming here,” said Jack Morris, the chair of the Allen County Democratic Party. “There are years that Indiana gets overlooked.”
Republican frontrunner Donald Trump will be in Indianapolis on Wednesday to attend a rally in support of Carrier employees. In February, the company announced it was moving its manufacturing facility to Mexico. That decision impacts 1,400 jobs. NewsChannel 15’s Alyssa Ivanson will be at the rally.
Ted Cruz is scheduled to attend the Indiana Republican spring fundraising dinner on Thursday.
John Kasich is expected to visit this week, according to IndyPolitics.
Morris said he fully expects Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to make stops in Indiana before the May Primary. He has been talking to their Fort Wayne and state campaign offices.
Although the primary is about two weeks away, experts are saying it’s best to start campaigning in the state early. Candidates can build excitement through campaign volunteers and local media coverage. They can also get to know local party officials, get endorsements, and learn the lay of the land.
“I think the groundwork has to have already begun and needs to build up on a rising political crescendo between now and May 3rd,” said Steve Shine, the chair of the Allen County Republican Party. “Quite frankly, Indiana becomes the focus of attention as the only state to hold a primary on May 3rd.”
Six primaries remain before Indiana’s. New York’s is April 19. Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island’s are on April 26.
“After April 26, all heck is going to break out in Indiana,” Shine said.
IPFW political science professor Mike Wolf said Hoosiers should expect to be inundated with ads.
“You’re not going to be able to turn on your TV and see a commercial for mattresses or cars,” he said. “Everything is going to be bought out for these candidates. The news coverage, they’re going to be zigzagging across the state. There’s going to be news being made.”
The only visit confirmed, so far, is Cruz on Thursday. Various campaign spokespersons reported they could not confirm circulating rumors about visits because the candidate’s schedules are very fluid and are often last minute.