SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Voter dissatisfaction with Congress didn't stop Indiana's nine members of the U.S. House from breezing to victories Tuesday in the state's primary.
Although voters said they were unhappy with the job Congress was doing, three of the nine incumbents -- Reps. Pete Visclosky, Jackie Walorski and Luke Messer -- didn't face primary challenges, and none of the remaining six faced serious threats on Tuesday.
Rep. Marlin Stutzman, who easily defeated two Republican challengers in northeast Indiana and is expected to be heavily favored in the fall, said he understands why voters are upset.
"When you look at Congress as a whole and the policies that have come out of Washington, it's very easy for all of us to say that Congress is not getting the job done. I would be in that group as well," he said. "We need people in Washington who are going to understand that a balanced budget is important. That getting debt under control is important."
Rep. Larry Bucshon, who easily defeated conservative Andrew McNeil in southwestern Indiana's 8th District, said he thinks people are frustrated that the House and Senate are controlled by different parties and can't agree on issues.
"But I think they recognize their individual members are doing the best they can to represent their districts," said Bucshon, who will face Democrat Tom Spangler, a Jasper businessman, in November.
Tuesday's congressional primaries were a much quieter affair than the last two elections, which each featured only three open seats. All the incumbents will likely be favored in the fall, although Andrew Downs, director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, said Democrats' best chance might be in the 2nd District. Walorski won that seat two years ago with 49 percent of the vote after Democrat Joe Donnelly ran for Senate.
The northern Indiana district has long been viewed as a swing district, Downs said. But it has leaned more Republican since congressional maps were redrawn.
Walorski will be challenged by University of Notre Dame faculty member Joe Bock, who defeated three other Democrats. Bock was director of global health training at Notre Dame's Eck Institute for Global Health until he announced his candidacy but remains on the school's faculty.
In northwest Indiana, Visclosky will face Republican Mark Leyva of Highland in November. Visclosky, who is seeking a 16th term as Indiana's longest-serving congressman, has faced Leyva in five elections since 2002. Visclosky has won handily each time.
Rep. Todd Young, who didn't face a challenger two years ago, easily beat two challengers in southern Indiana to earn the chance to seek a third term in Congress. He campaigned on a promise to work to repeal the Affordable Care Act and to reduce federal spending.
In Indianapolis, Rep. Andre Carson defeated two Democratic challengers in Indiana's 7th Congressional District and will be heavily favored in the heavily Democratic district in the fall against Catherine Ping.
If they win in November, they'll still face voters unhappy with Washington gridlock.
Bruce Jones, 51, a stock broker from South Bend, said his displeasure with Congress is a reason he votes, even in quiet years like this one.
"I want the person who best represents us in Congress, and somehow I never seem to get that," he said.