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Indiana governor's race rated 'toss up'

The winner of the Indiana governor’s race will take over this Statehouse office in January.

INDIANAPOLIS — A national, nonpartisan publication that rates the probable outcomes of electoral contests shifted its take on the Indiana governor’s race Friday to “Toss Up,” from “Lean Republican.”

The Cook Political Report said it’s too soon to tell what impact the Republican Party substituting Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb for popularity-challenged Gov. Mike Pence on the ballot will have in the race against the Democratic nominee, former House Speaker John Gregg.

“This contest is still in its infancy and needs time to develop, but expect a very competitive contest,” the report said. “The first poll in the new race gives Gregg a 7-point advantage.”

Democratic Party spokesman Drew Anderson said the rating change shows Hoosiers are preparing to reject the Pence-Holcomb “out-of-touch ideological agenda that has damaged the state’s economy and its reputation.”

Holcomb spokesman Pete Seat, a Schererville native, said he’s not worried since Holcomb is within striking distance despite being in the race for less than a month.

Cook also rates Indiana’s U.S. Senate election between Democrat Evan Bayh and Republican Todd Young as a “Toss Up.”

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Dan is Statehouse Bureau Chief for The Times. Since 2009, he's reported on Indiana government and politics — and how both impact the Region — from the state capital in Indianapolis. He originally is from Orland Park, Ill.