An Indy Politics statewide scientific poll of 600 likely Hoosier voters shows Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike Braun entering the final stretch of the contest with a four-point lead over Democrat incumbent Joe Donnelly.
The poll, conducted by Mason Strategies with a margin of 3.9 percent, showed Braun leading Donnelly 47-43, Libertarian Lucy Brenton had three percent of the vote and seven percent were undecided.
Because of the margin of error and numbers of undecided voters, Stephen Spiker of Mason Strategies said despite the four-point difference, the race is basically a tie.
“When applying the margin of error to each candidate’s vote share, the race is statistically tied. However, two weeks before the election you’d rather be Mike Braun than Joe Donnelly with these numbers,” Spiker said.
The poll also indicated that Donnelly’s vote against Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court might be having some impact, albeit not as much as Republicans might have hoped. Thirty percent of likely voters said they more likely to vote for Donnelly because of his vote against Kavanaugh while only 35 percent said they were less likely. And 32 percent of likely voters said Donnelly’s vote did not matter.
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Some of the poll’s other highlights on the U.S. Senate race include…
- There is no difference in voter enthusiasm. 72% of Braun voters say they are “extremely” or “very” enthusiastic to vote, compared to 74% of Donnelly voters. 42% of Braun voters say their enthusiasm is “extreme”, to 41% of Donnelly voters.
- There is a 29-pt gender gap: Men prefer Braun 55% – 36%, while women prefer Donnelly 39% to 49%.
- There is not a significant education gap: the ballot is tied among those with a college degree, and Braun leads 48%-43% among those without.
- Independents favor Donnelly 48% – 37%. Donnelly also has higher support among Democrats (90%) than Braun does among Republicans (85%). That is not enough to overcome the state’s partisan lean.
- In particular, Braun only leads self-identified moderate Republicans 66% to 23%; however, this is fewer than 20% of self-identified Republicans. Donnelly has the support of 90% of self-identified conservative Democrats.
- Braun is leading 83% to 7% among those who approve of Trump’s job performance; Donnelly leas 84% to 6% among those who do not. This suggests the race has become nationalized, as neither is winning a significant crossover.
“In a state that Donald Trump won by almost 20 points, Joe Donnelly needs a lot of things to break his way. Some of them are, but it may not be enough as voters in both parties consolidate and turn out,” Spiker noted.
The two candidates will meet for their next and final debate on October 30.
The poll was conducted from October 15-21. You can view the toplines here.
Tomorrow we will unveil approval ratings for Donald Trump, Eric Holcomb, Curtis Hill as well take a look at the Secretary of State’s race and two major legislative issues Indiana lawmakers will likely face when they return in January.
(Media are free to cite these numbers, however, credit must be given to IndyPolitics.Org & Mason Strategies LLC as the source.)