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HPI121102e_591

HPI121102e_591

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Published by: Tom Kludt on Nov 02, 2012
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09/21/2013

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Democrat opens 11% leadin Howey/DePauw poll;Bennett up only 40-36%;Pence leads Gregg 47-40%
By BRIAN A. HOWEY 
INDIANAPOLIS – Fourteen monthsago Richard Mourdock held an endorsing Tea
Party audience at Greeneld rapt in his his
-tory lesson, and his call to arms. A womanseated nearby at the Hancock County Court-house watched in wonderment. “He is soooogood,” she said.And then there was New Albany,Oct. 23, 2012, where Mourdock, in a tactical
political sense, was soooooo bad. Mourdock 
was in a dead heat race with Democrat Joe
Donnelly, six months after his epic landslideupset of U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar. With everyknown poll showing the race within the
margin of error, Mourdock waited 45 minutesin this debate before uttering the words that
would dene a U.S. Senate race in a Todd Akin déjà vu moment, and possibly alter ma
-
 jority control: “ . . . even when life begins in that horriblesituation of rape, that is something that God intended tohappen.” 
Donnelly poised as Mourdock craters
By CHRISTINE MATTHEWSBellwether Research
WASHINGTON - Republican Richard Mourdock apparently had no idea that his statement about abortion,rape, and God during the nal U.S.Senate debate might be controver
-sial.
“When I walked off thestage, I expected -- walking to mygreen room -- high-ves, because I
had no idea that the statement that
I made would possibly go a direction
that it went.” (Tom LoBianco, Associ-ated Press).
‘‘I continue to support RichardMourdock and I think it is time tomove on.”
 
- Republican gubernatorial nominee Mike Pence, campaigning in Dillsboro
Friday, Nov. 2, 2012
V18, N13
Continued on page 4
The results of the nal Howey/DePauw IndianaBattleground Poll reveal how fateful those words were. In
Insulated Mourdock teeters
 
HOWEY 
Politics Indiana 
Weekly Briefing on Indiana Politics 
Friday, Nov. 2, 2012Page 2
Howey PoliticsIndiana
is a non-partisan newsletterbased in Indianapolis andNashville, Ind. It was foundedin 1994 in Fort Wayne.It is published by
WWWHowey Media, LLCBrian A. Howey,
Publisher
Mark Schoeff Jr.,
Washington
Jack E. Howey,
editor
Subscriptions
$350 annually HPI Weekly$550 annually HPI Weekly andHPI Daily Wire.
'
Call Adrian France812.455.4070 or email
adrian@olympicmediagroup.com
Contact HPI
Howey Politics Indiana
www.howeypolitics.com
bhowey2@gmail.com
'
Howey’s Cabin:
812.988.6520
'
Howey’s cell:
317.506.0883
'
Washington:
703.248.0909
'
Business Ofce:
812.455.4070
© 2012, Howey Politics Indiana.
 All rights reserved. Photocopy
-ing, Internet forwarding, fax-
ing or reproducing in any form,whole or part, is a violation of federal law without permissionfrom the publisher.
v
Some would argue this isexactly why his statement has been
blown out of proportion – it camefrom the best of intentions. However,what his reaction to the restorm alsosays is that Richard Mourdock ap
-
pears to be so insulated from differentviews as to not even recognize howthose outside his worldview might
see things. And that was exactly his
problem even before the nal debate
which is why Democrat Joe Donnelly’s
simple, powerful campaign attack “my
way or the highway” resonated and
may very well have cost Richard Mour
-
dock the election even if the seconddebate had not played out the way it
had.
But now, it’s all over but thecrying. Joe Donnelly is poised tosucceed Republican Senator RichardLugar in the U.S. Senate. Donnelly
leads by
11 points
(47%-36%with lean-ers) with6% forLibertar-ian AndyHorning.Pundits
and others have argued that Indi
-
ana’s Republican political environmentwould save Mourdock. As I wrote inSeptember, Indiana has a healthytradition of ticket splitting at the statelevel and even this year when Mitt
Romney will handily defeat Barack Obama in the state and Mike Pence
will nearly certainly be elected gov
-
ernor, voters are deciding the senaterace independently. Nearly one insix voters support Romney but donot support Mourdock and, while thisgroup overwhelmingly wants to seeRepublicans control the U.S. Senate(74%), they have an intensely unfa
-
vorable view of Mourdock (8% favor
-
able – 65% unfavorable).
It would be too easy to say
it was just Lugar Republicans that
hindered Mourdock, but the wounds
from the intra party ght are evident:
Mourdock is only winning 70% of the
Republican vote which marks no im
-
provement from September and falls
far below the 88% of Democrats thatJoe Donnelly has consolidated. One in
four Republicans has an unfavorableopinion of Richard Mourdock, com
-
pared to 7% of Democrats who havean unfavorable view of Donnelly.In the overwhelmingly Repub
-lican suburban counties surrounding
Indianapolis, Mourdock’s image is split40% favorable – 39% unfavorable andhe underperforms there by at least 10points, although he is beating Don
-nelly 48%-37%.
Women were already aproblem for Richard Mourdock in ourSeptember poll and the problem got
worse:The two candidates were at
parity among independents in Septem
-ber (30% Mourdock – 32% Donnelly),but Mourdock’s image was already
underwater with this group. Now wehave Donnelly walking away (51%-17%) with self identied independents
which is what a Democrat has to do to
win statewide in a presidential year in
Indiana. Mourdock’s image with inde-
pendents mirrors the vote (18% favor
-
able – 50% unfavorable). Donnelly isat 32% favorable – 21% unfavorableamong independents.Three in 10 Republicans,35% of independents, and 64% of Democrats say their opinion of RichardMourdock has become less favorablein the past week or so.After millions spent by Super
 
HOWEY 
Politics Indiana 
Weekly Briefing on Indiana Politics 
Friday, Nov. 2, 2012Page 3
PACs and both campaigns arguing that their opponent rep
-
resents the greater threat to Hoosier values, by almost thesame margin that Joe Donnelly leads the ballot, more vot
-
ers are concerned that Richard Mourdock is a Republicanwho rejects compromise (42%), than are concerned thatJoe Donnelly is a Democrat who usually votes the party line(32%). In September, by a 41%-35% margin, voters weremore concerned about Mourdock’s politics than about Don
-nelly’s.The argument that Joe Donnelly would just add
another vote for Harry Reid would seem to be a strong
one considering by a 48%-38% margin, Hoosiers would
like to see Republicans control the U.S. Senate. But, it isnot enough to overcome the hesitations some have about
Richard Mourdock:
It is going to be a Republican year in Indiana, butnot in the U.S. Senate race.
Governor
In September, Mike Pence led John Gregg bythirteen points (47% - 34%) , and while the race hastightened to seven points (47%-40%), there simply is notenough time for John Gregg to fully close the gap andevery indication that Mike Pence is on track to be the nextgovernor of Indiana. A little over a month ago, nearly half of voters hadnot even heard of John Gregg and a double digit lead forMike Pence was a reection of that. Since then, Gregg hasimproved his name ID quite a bit (75% have now heardof him), but still lags in overall awareness and favorabil
-
ity. Gregg has a 33% favorable – 19% unfavorable ratingwhlie Pence’s is 43% favorable – 25% unfavorable. In ourSeptember poll, six in 10 thought the state was heading
the in the right direction – nearly twice those that thought
the country was on the right course -- and voters are veryhappy with the incumbent Republican governor – factors inPence’s favor.
Mike Pence leads among men 52%-37%, while we
nd the candidates tied among women at 42% apiece inresults that hew closely to party self-identication in thissurvey. It may be that the Mourdock controversy had somespillover effect, but I don’t have hard evidence of that ex
-
cept that on this survey, Pence’s lead among women fromSeptember has disappeared. I think, ultimately Mike Pence
will do better among women on Election Day.
The one concern is that Mike Pence’ support fromSeptember to October does not show growth and that hehas yet to break 50%. However, Libertarian Rupert Bone
-
ham is polling at 5% which may be a few points more thanhe gets on Tuesday. Among independent voters, the can
-
didates have roughly equal favorability ratings, but they arebreaking 39%-34% for Gregg. However, given the strongRepublican turnout advantage, this is not a strong enoughperformance for a Democrat.
Superintendent of Public Instruction
In the rst public look at the race for the state’s topeducation ofce, incumbent reformer Tony Bennett holds a40%-36% lead over Democrat Glenda Ritz, with one in foursaying they are rmly undecided. We conducted statewidepolling in 2008 when Tony Bennett ran for the rst timeand we found him in a similar position, leading his oppo
-
nent by 4 points in late October with fully a third of votersundecided in what was an open seat race. Bennett wenton the win election by a 51%-49% margin in a presidentialyear decidedly less favorable to Republicans than 2012 will
be.
Tony Bennett has put disruptive (in a good way)education reforms in place and, along the way, undoubt
-
edly rufed feathers, particularly with women. Bennett
has a comfortable lead among men (46%-33%), but trailsamong women 35%-39%. Notably, college educated
women strongly favor Ritz (47%-30%), while Bennett has
a slight edge among non-college women (37%-35%). In-
dependent women favor Ritz by a 36%-14% margin, whileindependent men support Bennett 39%-24%.One would expect Bennett to be doing betteramong Republicans with whom he has 68% of the vote(Ritz has 70% of the Democratic vote). It’s one of the lesspolitical state ofces, but why aren’t Republicans more sup
-
portive of an ofceholder who has garnered national rec
-
ognition for his reform efforts? This is one ofce, though,that may very well be susceptible to moving with turnout – a strong Republican turnout on Election Day will undoubt
-
edly favor Bennett.
President
While the outcome of the presidential race nation
-
ally is very much in question, there is no doubt that MittRomney will comfortably win Indiana. In this survey, heleads Obama by a nine point margin (50%-41%) whichcould very well expand on Election Day.
v
Matthews is president and CEO or Bellwether Re-search and Consulting based in Washington.

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