In the Indiana Senate race, Democratic Congressman Joe Donnelly has released a poll showing a statistical tie with Republican State Treasurer Richard Mourdock in the fall election.
The internal survey of 601 likely voters shows Donnelly leading by 1 percentage point with 44 percent over Mourdock at 40 percent and Libertarian Andrew Horning with 4 percent. Indiana is leaning Republican in the presidential race and will likely go to Mitt Romney in the presidential race, but the Senate contest is gaining national attention for its competitiveness.
Donnelly says the race will be competitive and close until November, but that his polling shows voters are exhausted with partisan bickering in Congress.
“You know it is about as close to a tie ballgame as you can get. And what that’s about is the people of Indiana just want solutions. They don’t want people fighting or being extremely partisan. We want more jobs and more opportunity, and people to work together,” he says. “And that’s why I think we’ve been successful to this point because we’re talking about issues.”
The polls memorandum points out that Donnelly also has a high favorable rating in the state and that Mourdock is having trouble with independent voters.
Donnelly has actively ran to the middle in this race, courting former supporter of longtime Sen. Dick Lugar, R-In., and the campaign is also set to hold a fundraiser hosted by former Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, who retired in 2010.
Other polls have shown Mourdock up by a 2-point margin, which is also within the margin of error, but trailing Donnelly among moderates by 27 percentage points. Thus far, the congressman has run TV ads pounding his GOP rival for ties with the Tea Party.
“After $1 million dollars in negative TV ads against Richard Mourdock in the general election, we are pleased with where we are in this race. Given how important Joe Donnelly's election is to Harry Reid and the president, it is no wonder they are pulling out all stops,” he says. “But, no amount of money can change the fact that Rep Donnelly's has voted for most of the [resident's job-killing agenda. The fact remains, Hoosiers are joining Dick Lugar and Mitt Romney and rallying behind Mourdock's plan to improve the economy.”
But Donnelly told WFPL that the tie is because Hoosiers are putting common sense above ideology in this year’s election.
“What I think it’s about is just people in Indiana saying we want our representative to be representative of us back home. Just go do the work. Work hard. Work non-stop. Come home and let us know what’s going on. They haven’t seen that with Mr. Mourdock when he has been so extreme and has been so Tea Party in so many of his views,” he says.