Indiana's 8th congressional district
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.
|Indiana's 8th congressional district|
|Area||7,041.64 sq mi (18,237.8 km2)|
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
|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 30.9%|
|2020||President||Donald Trump 65.1% - Joe Biden 33.1%|
Counties located in Indiana's 8th Congressional District
As of 2013.
| # |
| 26 |
| 61 |
| 77 |
| 87 |
- 13 Crawford County exists in both the 8th and 9th Congressional Districts. Within Crawford County, two whole townships; Boone, and Johnson exist in the 8th District, while two other townships; Patoka, and Union, are partitioned by Indiana State Road 145 and Interstate 64 respectively.
Cities of 10,000 or more people
2,500 - 10,000 people
- Princeton - 8,644
- Brazil - 7,912
- Tell City - 7,272
- Mt. Vernon - 6,687
- Boonville - 6,246
- Linton - 5,413
- Clinton - 4,893
- North Terre Haute - 4,305
- Sullivan - 4,249
- Newburgh - 3,325
- Fort Branch - 2,771
- Bicknell - 2,892
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 tend to give their representatives long tenures in Washington, the 8th Congressional District has a reputation for frequently ousting incumbents from both parties. 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 seat, accepting the recommendation of a Democratically controlled House task force sent to Indiana to count the ballots, with the winner, Democrat Frank McCloskey, holding a margin of four votes out of 233,000 cast. After that, McCloskey was reelected four more times before losing to Republican John Hostettler in 1994, amid the Republican Revolution. Hostettler represented the district for six terms before being defeated in a landslide by moderate Democrat Brad Ellsworth in 2006. It was the first district picked up by the Democrats that year, and was one of thirty nationwide that they gained while regaining control of the House. Ellsworth ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 2010 and was succeeded by Republican Larry Bucshon in the same election cycle. 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. Historically, it had a character similar to Yellow Dog Democrat districts in neighboring Kentucky. 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."
In 2013, the district shifted and was pushed southward toward 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
|Democratic gain from Republican|
|Democratic||Trent Van Haaften||76,265||37.43|
|Republican gain from Democratic|
|Republican||Larry Bucshon (Incumbent)||103,344||60.32|
|Republican||Larry Bucshon (Incumbent)||187,702||63.69|
|Democratic||Ronald L. Drake||93,356||31.68|
|Republican||Larry Bucshon (Incumbent)||157,396||64.4|
|Republican||Larry Bucshon (incumbent)||214,643||66.9|
|Libertarian||James D. Rodenberger||10,283||3.2|
Historical district boundaries
Note: There has been another change since the "most recent" image, reflected correctly on the 'Indiana districts' page.
- "Congressional District 8, IN - Profile data". Census Reporter. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
- "Partisan Voting Index – Districts of the 115th Congress" (PDF). The Cook Political Report. April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
- Brush, Silla (January 8, 2006). "And They're Off And Running!". U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on April 6, 2012. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
- Risen, James (October 29, 1986). "Reagan to Join Bloody House Battle : Indiana District Race, Won by 4 Votes in '84, Turns Into Rematch". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 22, 2020. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
- "Democrats pick up key House seat in Indiana". CNN.com. Retrieved January 7, 2007.
- Dirk Johnson, "The 2000 Campaign: An Indiana Race; Conservatives Face Off in Quirky Populist District", New York Times, October 10, 2000
- "Indiana Election Results November 3, 2020". Indiana Election Division. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
- Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
- Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
- Congressional Biographical Directory of the United States 1774–present