In February, my sister voted in primary for an open seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. At 4:30 PM, she was voter number 37. Why , she asked me later, are people so captivated by the presidential election but oblivious to the local races that are much more likely to affect their day to day lives? I didn't have an answer for her in February, and after reading this piece about the struggles of politicians in Indiana, the only response I have for her is that we're not alone in our confusion.
CNN spends hours each day parsing the words of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, running and rerunning footage of Jeremiah Wright and Clinton's "obliterate Iran" comment, but there are voters in Indiana who don't know the names of the people vying to be the Democratic gubernatorial candidate. Governors are not exactly unimportant government figures; our last four presidents have been governors. Sadly, it seems that most would-be constituents slept through the American Government classes that covered exactly what state governments control. Or maybe they didn't go over that; it's possible the Governor and the Legislature didn't give enough money to the state university system to allow for more resources than what could be found in old Schoolhouse Rock footage.
Ugh. I was going to continue, but I just found this editorial in the Wall Street Journal.