Democratic poll shows Mourdock trailing by seven

October 26, 2012

Democrat Joe Donnelly has opened a seven-point lead on Richard Mourdock in the Indiana Senate race after Mourdock's controversial comments on rape and pregnancy, according to an internal Democratic poll shared with The Fix.

The poll, conducted by Anzalone Liszt Research for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, shows Donnelly at 47 percent and Mourdock at 40 percent. It appears to be the first time Donnelly has polled a lead outside the margin of error.

The poll also shows Mourdock's personal favorability numbers taking a significant hit, with 35 percent of Hoosiers holding a positive view of him and 48 percent holding a negative one.

The poll contrasts an internal poll released by the Mourdock campaign earlier Friday, which showed the race tied at 44 percent apiece. Mourdock's poll was conducted by McLaughlin and Associates.

Both polls were conducted Wednesday and Thursday -- after Tuesday night's debate, in which Mourdock made the comments. Mourdock's poll showed Republicans accounting for 10 percent more of the electorate than Democrats, while the DSCC included no demographic breakdown.

Republicans criticized the poll.

“Like a lot of the so-called polling we’ve seen leaked by Senate Democrats in recent weeks, this is a press release dressed up as a poll, aimed at misleading the press and voters, instead of offering an honest look at the race," said Brian Walsh, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. "And no one should forget we’ve seen these games before: This is the same Democratic pollster who two years ago predicted the Louisiana Senate race was within three points, just two weeks before his Democratic candidate lost by 19 points.”

Most polls of the race have showed the two men neck and neck. But most analysts wagered after Mourdock's comments that he did himself some damage. Mourdock himself said Thursday that the situation actually helped him.

A reminder: The polls above are conducted by partisan pollsters and should be looked at in that context. The Fix will, of course, keep readers abreast of any independent polls that are released in the days ahead.

Updated at 2:53 p.m.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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Aaron Blake | October 26, 2012