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Once an Obama coup, Indiana less a battleground

By Thomas Beaumont

Associated Press

Published: Friday, May 18 2012 10:58 a.m. MDT

FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2010 file photo, President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, speaks, at the Chrysler Indiana Transmission Plant II in Kokomo, Ind. Indiana was a perfect storm for Barack Obama four years ago. Today, it's a stiff headwind for the Democrat seeking re-election. Even Democrats see the environment as far more challenging in Indiana, where the economy continues to struggle and Republicans have made steady gains in the four years since Obama carried the state that had gone Republican for more than a generation.

Darron Cummings, File, Associated Press

GARY, Ind. — Barack Obama was the first Democrat in 44 years to win Indiana in the 2008 presidential election, but the state is hardly a lock for him again.

Even Democrats see the current political environment as far more challenging. Among other things, the state's economy continues to struggle and Republicans have made steady gains in state and federal elections in the past four years.

Longtime Sen. Richard Lugar's loss to tea-party conservative Richard Mourdock in last week's GOP Senate primary may give Democrats reason to hope Indiana could become more competitive by November.

But for now, it appears to be the state most likely to be scratched off the list of states in Obama's 2008 win column.

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