What To Make Of The Indiana Poll?

Owen Poindexter
The most recent poll of the senate race in Indiana has Democrat Joe Donnelly up 11 points, despite earlier polls showing the race much closer. Is this an outlier? Or is his challenger Richard Mourdock another gift from the Tea Party to the Democrats? Carbonated dives in for a close look.

A poll released yesterday showed Democrat Joe Donnelly surging ahead of opponent Richard Mourdock by 11 points, in their race to be the next senator from Indiana. If this is even half true, then the race is a done deal. However, despite Mourdock’s extremely poorly worded (and already very conservative) views on the abortion rights of rape victims (that they shouldn’t have any), we have to see this poll as an outlier. Donnelly may in fact be leading, but the most we can say from previous polls is that they showed the two candidates about tied. If we include internal polling, done by the campaigns themselves, Donnelly does show an average lead of a few percentage points, but it is hard to draw any real conclusions from this, seeing as published internal polling results always skew heavily toward the publisher.

Still, it seems logical to put Indiana as at least leaning blue if it is even possible to get a result like that. Mourdock’s name may be tainted enough that poll respondents don’t want to state their support for him, in case the ick-factor transferred onto anyone who states their support for him. We may never know for sure how much that translates at the ballot box, but the fact that Indiana won’t be especially close in the presidential race (Romney has it), may actually help Donnelly. With the top of the ticket not investing resources in turning out the vote, the more motivated side may win. Indiana Republicans, let me ask you, how enthusiastic are you to come out for a guy who used the words “God intended” in reference to pregnancy from rape? Does it help that Mourdock clarified that God only intended the pregnancy and not the rape? Do you share Mr. Mourdock’s extremely specific concept of God? We will find out the collective answer to these question on Tuesday. If Mourdock loses, he will join Christine O’Donnell and Sharon Angle as Tea Partiers who saved a senate seat for the Democrats by ousting an established Republican in the primaries, before betting voted down by the broader electorate.