Indiana: Government, Politics, and Higher Education

Indiana's constitution dates from 1851 and provides for an elected executive and legislature. A governor serves as the chief executive for a term of four years. The legislature, called the general assembly, has a senate with 50 members and a house of representatives with 100 members. Indiana elects 9 representatives and 2 senators to the U.S. Congress and has 11 electoral votes.

During the 20th cent. Indiana has been generally conservative and Republican, although Democrats have had some successes in gubernatorial and congressional elections. Evan Bayh, elected governor in 1988 and 1992, was succeeded by another Democrat, Frank O'Bannon, elected in 1996 and reelected in 2000. Lt. Gov. Joseph E. Kernan, also a Democrat, succeeded O'Bannon when the latter died in 2003, but Kernan lost to Republican Mitch Daniels in 2004. Daniels was reelected in 2008, and Republican Mike Pence was elected in 2012. Pence, picked by Donald Trump as his running mate, was elected vice president in 2016, and Republican Eric Holcomb was elected to succeed Pence as governor.

Among the institutions of higher learning in Indiana are Indiana Univ., at Bloomington; Purdue Univ., at West Lafayette; the Univ. of Notre Dame, near South Bend; Indiana Univ./Purdue Univ. at Indianapolis (IUPUI); Indiana State Univ., at Terre Haute; DePauw Univ., at Greencastle; Butler Univ., at Indianapolis; Valparaiso Univ., at Valparaiso; Wabash College, at Crawfordsville; Earlham College, at Richmond; and Goshen College, at Goshen.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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