The only thing the two major campaigns in the race for the U.S. Senate in Indiana agree on is that it’s close.
The poll, released by Howey Politics and DePauw University showed the race between Mourdock and Donnelly statistically tied, with Donnelly leading 40-38. Libertarian Andy Horning was getting 7-percent of the vote and the rest were undecided.
Mourdock Deputy campaign manager Brose McVey told Indy Politics the results were not surprising, citing nearly $4 million in attack ads spent against Mourdock. “At this point we’re please Mourdock’s mom will return his calls,” McVey joked. However, McVey also noted there were several unaccounted for factors that would get his candidate over the finish line.
He argued the Howey/DePauw Poll likely undersampled Republicans, saying other polls have shown Mourdock doing somewhat better, although the race is still close.He did note Moudock would be stepping up his presence on the airwaves and unveiling a new message. He also cite Super PACS like Crossroads for America which are about about to spend another $1 million here in Indiana. McVey also made note of the GOP’s ground game here in Indiana, as well as other grass roots effort and the fact that Barack Obama’s presence in the state is nowhere near what it was in 2008.
When asked why Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence was polling better against Democrat John Gregg, McVey said for all intent and purposes, Pence has not had any real opposition compared to the $4 million spent against Mourdock.
“It ain’t pretty, but we’re getting there”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Donnelly campaign has taken an entirely different approach to the poll numbers.
“This is yet another sign that Hoosier voters are rejecting Richard Mourdock’s ‘my way or the highway’ approach that will get us nowhere,” said Elizabeth Shappell, communications director. “Despite millions of dollars from Karl Rove’s shady backers and the Koch brothers attacking him on air, Joe Donnelly’s message of working with both parties to create jobs, lower the debt, and balance the budget is cutting through. Richard Mourdock stands for the Washington Way—more gridlock, more debt, more taxes, less moving our country in the right direction. Joe Donnelly is the middle of the road, bipartisan candidate who has the Hoosier common sense to get things done for middle class families.”
Shappell pointed to several other indicators that the poll was bad for Mourdock…
- Mourdock is viewed unfavorably by Hoosiers. Mourdock remains unfavorable with Indiana voters (26% favorable, 32% unfavorable), while Joe Donnelly has a net-positive rating (24% favorable, 21% unfavorable).
- Donnelly is winning independent voters. Joe leads among independents, 32%-30%.
- Mourdock has a Republican problem. Mourdock only picks up 60% of voters who supported Sen. Richard Lugar in the May GOP Primary.
- Undecided voters do not like Richard Mourdock. Richard Mourdock’s favorability with undecided voters is a net negative (6% favorable, 21% unfavorable).
There are less than 40 days to go until Election Day.