Just days after the fiscally conservative Club for Growth released an internal poll showing Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., in a neck-and-neck race against his GOP opponent, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, Lugar is pushing back with a poll of his own. It show the senator himself leading Mourdock by 14 points. While the poll is more encouraging for Lugar than the findings of the Club's survey, the numbers are still relatively unimpressive for the longtime Republican incumbent.
Lugar leads Mourdock 45 percent to 31 percent according to the senator's own poll of likely GOP primary voters, with 23 percent undecided. The Club's poll, released Tuesday, found 34 percent of likely GOP primary voters would vote for Mourdock, 32 percent would vote for Lugar, while 34 percent are undecided.
The 45 percent figure isn't exactly ideal for an incumbent. But the bigger question is whether both of the polls offer enough encouraging signs for Mourdock to spur donors and conservative groups to line up behind the conservative challenger.
During the first two quarters of the year, Mourdock's fundraising has been lackluster, and he has not drawn the wholehearted support from conservative groups that conservative challengers in other races have enjoyed. For example, while the Club for Growth hasn't been shy about going after Lugar, it hasn't endorsed Mourdock.
The Lugar campaign's poll of 600 likely Republican primary voters was conducted by American Viewpoint from July 27-28, and carries a margin of error of +/- 4.0 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.