1:43 PM EDT, May 4, 2012
A recent bipartisan independent poll revealed Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock has a ten-point lead over incumbent U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar.
The poll, conducted by Howey Politics/DePauw University on Monday and Tuesday, shows Sen. Lugar is trailing Mourdock by 48 percent to 38 percent in Indiana’s Republican Senate primary.
The study includes people referred to as “leaners,” who could possibly change their votes in the final three days of the campaign. However, the poll found even without the “leaners,” Mourdock would still lead 43 percent to 35 percent.
Howey Politics Indiana stated due to the survey results, they would move the Senate race into a “Likely Mourdock” category.
In Howey’s last poll, taken on March 26 through March 28, Sen. Lugar took the lead with 42 percent to 35 percent. The senator’s negative campaign ads appear to have contributed to his fall the latest poll. The survey revealed Sen. Lugar’s favorable/unfavorable were each 43 percent, while Mourdock’s were 47/25 percent.
The latest survey was based on 700 likely voters with a margin of error estimated at 3.7 percent. The group was comprised of 76 percent Republicans, 14 percent independent, 8 percent independent who lean Republican, 1 percent lean Democrat and 1 percent independent who lean Democrat.
Among the Republican sample, Moudock took a 51 to 36 percent lead. He also led with the “very conservative” voters with 63 to 26 percent. Meanwhile, Sen. Lugar had a lead with the moderate voters with 60 percent to 26 percent.
Those supporting Sen. Lugar cited they liked his experience, said he was doing a good job and others stated he had a “good record.” However, when asked if their opinions on the senator have becomes less favorable in the past week or two, 32 percent said yes.
Sen. Lugar spoke to the media Friday at his campaign headquarters following the release of the poll. He said despite the recent survey, he believes he would win the primary.
“I believe that right now, if a majority of Hoosiers were to vote in an election that is all Hoosiers, regardless of party--Republicans, Independents, Democrats-- I could win. I think I have majority support in our state,” said Sen. Lugar.
Sen. Lugar also spoke of his opponent, stating Moudock is “unqualified to handle the complex situations in our world today.”
“If you’re a Hoosier and you’re generally interested in these problems, please vote for somebody who is on the job doing it and will continue to do it effectively,” pleaded the senator.
Mourdock’s campaign released the following statement following the announcement of their lead in the poll:
“Today’s poll confirms what we have been hearing across Indiana. Hoosiers are tired of Senator Lugar’s willingness to support liberal causes in Washington, they feel he is out of touch with the values they hold dear and they firmly believe it is time for a change.
“After a long and distinguished career, Senator Lugar has by all accounts run a very negative and personal campaign. Choosing to rely on attacking Richard Mourdock’s character rather than discussing his own record of supporting Obama’s liberal Supreme Court justices, earmarks and bailouts and even amnesty for illegal immigrants.
“It is time for Senator Lugar to definitively address whether he will endorse Richard Mourdock for U.S. Senate, if he prevails in Tuesday’s primary. After a career defined by his statesmanship, it would be a disappointment to all Hoosiers if Senator Lugar opted to make his final act a petty refusal to support the Republican ticket.”
Full survey results can be found here.