Editor's Note: In the final 100 days before Election Day, CNN has been profiling one race at random each day from among the nation's top 100 House races, which we've dubbed "The CNN 100." Read the full list here.
Today's featured district is:
IN 08: Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D) is running for Senate in Indiana leaving an open seat.
Primary: May 4, 2010
Days until the election: 11
Indiana's 8th congressional district comes with voters who definitely lean to the more conservative side of the political spectrum, and in a year when conservatives are making a come-back, this one is a key for the GOP. Since the district's representative, Rep. Brad Ellsworth, a Democrat, has decided to run for the state's open Senate seat, this seat is up for grabs, and it's looking more and more like Republicans will take this seat on November 2.
Trent VanHaaften, an Indiana state senator, has run as a tough prosecutor, but in this election year for Democrats, it is even tougher to try to follow in Ellsworth's footsteps. Recent polls show Republican candidate Larry Bucshon, a heart surgeon, pulling ahead. Compounding VanHaaften's problems are Bucshon's successes in tieing his opponent to the health care bill and stimulus bill, two highly unpopular pieces of legislation in this GOP-leaning district.
Bucshon, who has been the favorite of the national Republican establishment since the early days of the Republican primary, successfully beat back a strong challenge by a Tea Party-backed candidate during the GOP primary and has gone on to run a good campaign, making inroads with district voters reacting to the anti-incumbent winds this year.
As of the end of September, both candidates' bank accounts were dwindling: Bucshon had $317,842 and VanHaaften had $259,446.
Unless there is a real game changer, this seat is Bucshon's to take.