Mourdock and Donnelly tied at 40 in Indiana, Democratic poll shows
By Aaron Blake,
A new poll conducted for Rep. Joe Donnelly’s (D-Ind.) Senate campaign shows him tied with newly minted GOP nominee Richard Mourdock.
The poll (full questionnaire here), conducted by Democratic pollster Global Strategy Group and obtained by The Fix, showed both Donnelly and Mourdock at 40 percent.
Democrats have insisted since Mourdock’s victory over longtime Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) in the primary last week that they now have a chance to win Indiana, which went for President Obama in 2008 but leans significantly toward Republicans.
The poll suggests they may have a point.
Notably, Mourdock’s numbers appear to have suffered — at least momentarily — from the primary. His favorable rating is 36 percent, while 37 percent view him unfavorably. Twenty-two percent of Hoosier voters say they have a strongly unfavorable view about Mourdock.
Donnelly is much less well-known, but has better overall personal numbers. Of the 40 percent who can rate him, 28 percent rate him favorably and 12 percent unfavorably.
The poll, conducted Thursday through Sunday, also shows the tea party is not held in great regard in Indiana, with 34 percent viewing it favorably and 44 percent viewing it unfavorably.
Republicans argued that the poll under-sampled GOP voters, pointing out that it interviewed only slightly more Republicans (31 percent of respondents) than Democrats (30 percent). Including independents who leaned toward either side, the poll included 43 percent Republican leaners and 39 percent Democratic leaners — a four-point GOP advantage.
According to CNN exit polls, Republicans had a five-point turnout edge in the 2008 presidential race in Indiana (41 percent to 36 percent) and an 11-point advantage in 2010 (42 percent to 31 percent).
Indiana is still an uphill battle for Democrats, but it is now an open-seat race, and much will depend on how Mourdock can rebound from the primary.
Donnelly, it should be noted, needs to start raising more money. To this point, his campaign has generally raised less than $400,000 per quarter. Democrats say that will increase now that they have a competitive matchup.