Polls show Donnelly, Mourdock tied
State Treasurer Richard Mourdock/U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly (South Bend Tribune file photos) (August 9, 2012)
With less than three months until Election Day, the race for one of Indiana’s seats in the U.S. Senate appears to be a dead heat.
Two recent polls have shown Democrat Joe Donnelly and Republican Richard Mourdock in a neck-and-neck contest for the seat Sen. Richard Lugar, a Republican, has occupied since 1977.
Rasmussen Reports released results of a phone survey last Friday that found 42% of likely voters support Mourdock, the state’s treasurer, and 40% support Donnelly, a congressman from Granger. Another 3% of people surveyed prefer another Senate candidate and 15% are undecided.
The survey of 400 likely voters was conducted July 31 and Aug. 1, and has a 5% margin of error.
Donnelly’s campaign released its own poll Thursday, showing the Democrat leading Mourdock, 41% to 40%. Libertarian Andrew Horning drew support from 4% of respondents.
The campaign hired Global Strategy Group to poll 601 likely voters between Aug. 2 and Sunday. It has a 4% margin of error.
Both Donnelly and Mourdock interpreted the poll results as positive for their respective campaigns.
Elizabeth Shappell, the communications director for Donnelly’s campaign, highlighted that the race is tied despite Crossroads GPS, a Republican-backed political action committee, spending $560,000 on advertisements attacking Donnelly.
“This poll shows Joe’s message of bipartisan, Hoosier common sense is resonating with voters across the political spectrum,” Shappell said in a statement. “Hoosiers are rejecting Richard Mourdock’s ‘my way or the highway’ tea party approach that would undermine jobs and cut Medicare.”
Mourdock has been the target of $1 million in negative ads, according to his deputy campaign manager Brose McVey. He said that shows how important Donnelly’s election is to President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
“But no amount of money can change the fact that Rep. Donnelly has voted for most of the president’s job-killing agenda,” McVey wrote in an e-mail.
The two recent polls show that little has changed since Howey Politics Indiana and DePauw University sponsored a Senate poll in early April — a month before Mourdock beat Lugar in the Republican primary. That survey of 503 likely voters found Donnelly and Mourdock both had support from 35 percent of voters.
Staff writer Kevin Allen: