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IN-Sen, IN-Gov Bellwether/GHY for Howey/DePauw (March 2012)

IN-Sen, IN-Gov Bellwether/GHY for Howey/DePauw (March 2012)

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04/08/2012

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Christine Matthews:GOP primary makeupwill be key
By CHRISTINE MATTHEWS
Bellwether Research
 WASHINGTON – Our March26-28 poll shows whateveryone knows: RichardLugar is in a tough battle to winthe May 8 Republican primary.He leads Tea Party challengerRichard Mourdock by 7 points, but at 42%, hisballot support is far enough below the 50%mark to be of significant concern. Themake-or-break proposition for Senator Lugar isgoing to be the composition of the primaryelectorate.The fact that Indiana has an open primarymakes this narrative different from Delaware,where in 2010 U.S. Sen. Mike Castle lost to TeaParty candidate Christine O’Donnell in a closedRepublican primary, or in Utah, where U.S.Sen. Bob Bennett’s fate was decided by fewerthan 4,000 GOP convention delegates. The Republican Senate candidates are tiedamong self-identified Republicans and amongprimary faithful – those who voted in both theMay 2008 and 2010 Republican primaries.However, among the 28% of the sample whoidentified as independent or as leaningRepublican, Richard Lugar has a 26 pointadvantage (52%-26%). We were cautious in this survey and did not askself-identified Democrats the primary intentionscreen and thus included none in this sample.However, it is reasonable to believe that withnothing going on for them, some Democrats willvote in the Republican primary. In Wisconsinthis week, 11% of GOP primary voters wereDemocrats and 30% independents; Illinois had6% who identified as Democrats and 26% asindependents, and in Ohio, 5% were Democratsand 26% independents. Make no mistake though, our poll shows thatIndiana Republican primary voters are aconservative bunch. Compared with otherstates that have held Republican primaries thisyear, Indiana is more conservative than anyother non-Southern state with 36% saying theyare “very conservative.” And, outside of Iowa,Indiana has more evangelical Christians thanany other non-Southern state. As to which candidate “shares my values,” Lugar leads Mourdock by 8 points and has a10-point advantage on “will get things done.” Mourdock is seen as running the more negativecampaign by a nine-point margin. We will trackthese attributes again on our pre-primary poll. The fact that Richard Mourdock is not wellknown (40% have no opinion of him and 17%have never heard of him) can play out twoways. One is that he has room to grow as
Thursday, April 05, 2012
HPI Howey/DePauw Exclusive: Senate Race Tossup
U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar is in the most precarious position of his political career since autumn 1974when he unsuccessfully challenged Democratic incumbent Birch Bayh. A Howey/DePauw IndianaBattleground Poll released today reveals Lugar with a 42-35% lead over Indiana Treasurer RichardMourdock, with the two evenly splitting the vote among the 72% of primary voters identifyingwith the GOP. It has prompted HPI to move this race into "tossup" from "Leans Lugar."The poll by Republican pollster Christine Matthews of Bellwether Research and Democrat pollsterFred Yang of Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, was conducted March 26-28 of 503 likelyRepublican primary voters and March 26 -27 of 503 likely Indiana general election voters. It has a+/-4.5% margin of error. The polling came after Lugar had experienced a terrible week. He tookbroadside headlines related to the residency issue in the week before the polling, with theDemocratic Marion County Election Board denying the voting address he had used since joiningthe Senate in the late 70's. The three days of polling coincided with the beginning of a statewideClub for Growth TV assault ad branding Lugar as a big tax and spender who loves earmarks.Sen. Lugar is confronted with a historic low 10% approval rating of Congress, according to theHowey/DePauw survey. A stunning 81% of those polled disapprove of Congress' actions. A recentGallup national survey has Congressional approval at 12%. Howey/DePauw revealed that 26% of Hoosiers see the U.S. on the "right track" compared to 61% who see the nation on the "wrongtrack."Lugar and Mourdock are evenly splitting the GOP vote. If Indiana did not have an open primarysystem, a record seventh term for Lugar would be doomed. In the Republican portion of Howey/DePauw, 72% identified themselves as Republican, 14% as independents/lean Republicanand 14% as independents. When Howey/DePauw asked respondents "What candidate does thisstatement better describe Richard Lugar/Richard Mourdock," 36% said Lugar "shares my values"compared to 28% for Mourdock. "Is running a negative campaign" had 24% Mourdock and 15%Lugar, and "Will get things done" had a 10-point (40-30%) Lugar advantage. Essentially, the May8 Republican primary has turned into a referendum on Lugar. Some 40% of Republican votershave no opinion of Mourdock, and another 17% have never heard of the two-term treasurer wholed the GOP ticket in his 2010 reelection bid. Among likely Republican voters, 47% have afavorable opinion of Lugar and 31% unfavorable, compared to Mourdock with a 24% favorable to18% unfavorable.The silver lining for Lugar, who is facing an onslaught of special interest money on behalf of Mourdock from the National Rifle Association, Club for Growth and FreedomWorks, is that in ahead-to-head matchup with Donnelly among general election voters, Lugar leads 50-29% and hasstrong support in Marion County. In a head-to-head between Mourdock and Donnelly, the race istied at 35% with the Indianapolis support shifting away from the Republican. Another element isthe endorsement of Gov. Mitch Daniels, who has a 63% approval rating (and 31% disapproving)from general election voters and an 86% approval from Republicans, according toHowey/DePauw. At a February fundraiser in Carmel, Daniels said of Lugar, "Indiana continues tobe blessed by one of the greatest public servants not of our modern times, not of our state'shistory, but in American history - and it's not stretching the point. Dick Lugar is genuinely a greatAmerican as reflected in decades of spectacular service."
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Howey Politics Indiana - Indianapolis, Indianahttp://howeypolitics.com/1 of 44/5/12 1:23 PM
 
voters get to know him and that his pollnumbers will get better as he becomes betterknown. The other scenario is that Mourdock’slack of identity is useful in serving as the “anti-Lugar” in that he can generically representchange or people can project onto him idealqualities. The April 11 debate is an opportunityfor Mourdock to show himself as more than the “anti-Lugar” candidate and voters can judgehim in a side-by-side comparison with theincumbent.Another factor to consider is how active a rolepopular Gov. Mitch Daniels will yet play in theprimary. He has endorsed Senator Lugar, butthere has been no TV ad. Usually endorsementsare not that interesting; however, the governoris a rock star among Republicans.General Election Survey With a 63% job approval rating among allvoters, Mitch Daniels is among the mostpopular governors in the country (along withNew Mexico’s Susana Martinez and New YorkGovernor Andrew Cuomo). The majority (53%)of all voters think the state is heading in theright direction, compared with 26% who thinkthe country is. Just 39% approve of the jobBarack Obama is doing as President, which isworse than in private polling we conducted lastsummer. Independents give Obama a 41%approval rating, compared with 62% forGovernor Daniels. If Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee, hewould lead the president by nine points(49%-40%) among Hoosier voters, whereas it’sa closer race with Santorum (46%-41%).Independent men lean toward Romney46%-42%, but independent women backObama 51%-34%. In the gubernatorial race, Democratic candidateJohn Gregg and his moustache have yet tomake an imprint on voters: 71% have neverheard of him, which is little changed fromwhere he was a year ago. Mike Pence is betterknown and leads Gregg by a 44%-31%margin. This early, our poll simply lays themarker for this race as the candidates begin tocampaign in earnest following the Mayprimary. However, Pence starts out with a solidadvantage.In the U.S. Senate general election contest,former Democratic congressman Joe Donnellyalso begins as a relative unknown: 53% havenever heard of him and another 24% have noopinion. He trails Richard Lugar by a 29%-50%margin (perennial Libertarian candidate AndyHorning nets 7%). Lugar wins independentvoters by a 20-point margin and soundly beatsDonnelly in Indianapolis, an area Democratsmust carry. Donnelly only performs well in thenorthwest quadrant of the state which includesLake, St. Joseph and Porter counties. Against Richard Mourdock, however, Donnellyties with 35% of the vote (7% for Horning).Donnelly has a 20-point advantage inIndianapolis and increases his margin innorthern Indiana substantially. IndianaDemocratic insiders know these numbers, of course, and that is why they will do everythingin their power to help ensure Richard Mourdockcomes out of the GOP primary. The generalelectability argument, however, will not helpRichard Lugar in the primary. It’s been workingfor Romney, but in general, Republican primaryvoters aren’t responsive to this message.
Presidential GOP Primary
 At the time we were in the field (March 26-28)
In the Republican presidential primary,
with the nomination virtually a foregone conclusionfor Romney, Rick Santorum leads Romney 27-26% among the Republicans surveyed. Ron Pauland Newt Gingrich stood at 6% each and 35% were undecided.
In the first head-to-head numbers
in the Indiana gubernatorial race, U.S. Rep. Mike Pencehad a 44-31% lead over former Democratic House speaker John Gregg, with 5% backingLibertarian Rupert Boneham. Gregg's problem is that 71% of the general election voters have notheard of him. Of those who have, his fav/infavs stood at 10/4%. Pence's fav/unfavs in this surveystood at 32/20% with 30% having never heard of him. Among the Republican primary voters,Pence's fav/unfavs stood at 57/5%. In 1996, Lt. Gov. O'Bannon trailed Republican StephenGoldsmith by a larger margin than Gregg trails Pence. Pence's challenge will be that anemic 10%approval rating for Congress.
- Brian A. Howey 
HPI News
Daniels' sine die: Assessing governor's8 legislative sessions
This article was originally published in the March22, 2012 edition of Howey Politics Indiana.By BRIAN A. HOWEY
INDIANAPOLIS - The final bills of Gov. Mitch Daniels’ career are being signed this week. From a policystandpoint, Daniels promised a “freight train of change” and delivered much. He demanded and received fourbalanced budgets without smoke and mirrors, passedMajor Moves, telecommunications reform, fundedfull-day kindergarten and avoided educatioal fundingcuts like most other states, set up the Healthy IndianaProgram and the Indiana Economic DevelopmentCorporation, and then sprawling education and laborreforms.As with any governor, the historical verdict on theexact impact of his tenure will be years away. HoweyPolitics Indiana was able to establish a review of Gov.Evan Bayh’s tenure a decade after he left office in 1996as he was gearing up for a presidential run. Next yearwill mark a decade since the death of Gov. FrankO’Bannon, and such a review will be published in 2013,when the community college program he pioneered, forinstance, can be aptly placed into context.It will be well into the third decade of the centurybefore the true thrust of the Daniels era can beweighed. Daniels will leave office with nationalprominence despite passing on a presidential run. He ischampioned by his Republican Party as a prolific jobscreator, though the state’s jobless rate has been miredbetween 8.5 and 10% for almost all of his second termand isn’t expected to dip below 6% until 2014. Thestate is facing troubling trends in births to singlemothers, obesity and educational attainment.A classic example of the preamble rhetoric surroundinglegislation and the actual law would be Major Moves.Passed in the 2006 session with a one-vote margin inthe House, Daniels presented it as the “jobs bill of ageneration.” House Speaker Brian Bosma said justhours after passage, “We will put 130,000 Hoosierfamilies to work over the next decade. That is a recordinvestment in infrastructure.” Under Major Moves, the state received $3.8 billion for a75-year lease of the Indiana Toll Road, which allowed itto accelerate an array of projects that were unfunded,including the U.S. 31 freeway, the I-69 extension fromIndianapolis to Evansville, the completion of theHoosier Heartland Highway, and Ohio River bridges.But heading into the sixth year of the decade, theconstruction jobs have yet to be realized. In 2010,Howey Politics Indiana reported that while U.S.Department of Transportation formulas expected47,000 jobs created per $1 billion spent – or 117,500project jobs – estimates revealed just 28,500 jobs thatyear, or less than one-fifth supporters had hoped. “That was never the central point,” Daniels told HPIintern Bryan Ault from Franklin College. “It was neverabout construction jobs. It’s about having a first classinfrastructure over which the private sector over thelong haul will invest and create the big number of 
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Howey Politics Indiana - Indianapolis, Indianahttp://howeypolitics.com/2 of 44/5/12 1:23 PM
 
with our Republican primary poll, the narrativewas beginning to shift from Santorum-Romneyto Romney as nominee. It’s not surprising thatduring this consolidation period, more thanone-third of primary voters said they wereunsure whom they plan to support for presidentin Indiana’s May primary contest. Santorumsupporters slightly edge Romney supporters(27%-26%) and more might be unsure if theirguy would still be alive and kicking by the timeMay 8 rolls around. The Gingrich (6%) andPaul (6%) support has already dropped. Whatis most interesting is that Romney is thecandidate of choice for Indianapolis and itssuburbs, while Santorum holds his own in therest of the state. All the traditionalconstituency patterns are in place: Santorumwins evangelicals (but not overwhelmingly) andRomney wins college grads while Santorumleads among the less educated. More interesting is how an active presidentialcontest would play in the U.S. Senate primary.Romney supporters line up with Lugar, whileSantorum’s are in sync with Mourdock. NBC’sChuck Todd said a competitive GOP presidentialprimary would be a nightmare for SenatorLugar, but I disagree. The Santorum/Mourdockvoters are going to turn out anyway – becausethey are the base and because the NRA,FreedomWorks, and Club for Growth will makesure of it. What benefits Lugar is for theRomney micro-targeting and turn-out machineto be in full force. If Romney is cruising, theymay take a less active role in turning out theirsupporters and these people are more likely tostay home if they think Romney has thenomination wrapped up.
Matthews is president and CEO of Bellwether Research based in Washington.Thursday, April 05, 2012
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HPI News• Morgan, 3 others indicted in '08 ballot petition scheme• Lugar voter registration case dismissed• Daniels selects Sen. Lawson as secretary of state• Obama, Lugar, Santorum stay on the ballot• Indiana Election Commission boots Wallace off ballot• HPI Analysis: Party control key for winning governors• HPI Analysis: House Dem exodus puts Bauer in crosshairs• House Dem retirement tsunami at a dozen• Delph says Rep. Burton is retiring• Charlie in yet another fine messHPI Weekly• Howey Politics Indiana April 5, 2012• Howey/DePauw Poll: Senate race into 'tossup'• Christine Matthews: GOP primary composition will be the key• Fred Yang: Exhibition season over; we'll see if Lugar survives• Brian Howey: Lugar faces dilemma of past Foreign Relationschairmen• Mark Schoeff: Tea Party will need Lugar if Supremes rejectObamacare• Horse Race: Seybold won't join McIntosh residency pile on• Indictments rock St. Joe Democratic machine• Rich James: The two smartest 'bleepers' in the Statehouse• Jack Colwell: Lugar is a statesman, Mourdock is not
Howey Politics Indiana - Indianapolis, Indianahttp://howeypolitics.com/3 of 44/5/12 1:23 PM

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