INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Republicans are losing perhaps their strongest weapon heading into the 2012 elections.
Gov. Mitch Daniels says he is stepping out of partisan politics for the remainder of his term following his appointment as Purdue University's next president.
Party leaders have downplayed any impact Daniels' decision could have even as they've touted his importance in building the Indiana GOP into a force to be reckoned with.
Former chairman Mike McDaniel says Daniels' decision will be "muted" because it comes relatively close to the November election. GOP chairman Eric Holcomb says Daniels is leaving the party in good shape for the election.
But Republicans still face many races for seats in Washington and the Statehouse that are far from locks and could have benefited from his clout.