Howey/DePauw Poll: Mourdock Up Ten Over Lugar
In what is likely to be the final live-caller public poll ahead of Tuesday's Indiana Senate Republican primary, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock has opened up a ten point lead over Sen. Richard Lugar, whose 35-year Senate career is in serious jeopardy.
A Howey/DePauw Indiana Battleground Poll conducted by Democratic and Republican pollsters on Monday and Tuesday of this week shows Mourdock leading Lugar 48 percent to 38 percent.
The previous Howey/DePauw survey, which was conducted from March 26-28, had Lugar leading Mourdock 42 percent to 35 percent. In the weeks since that survey was taken, outside groups have come to the aid of both candidates, spending big bucks on TV ad buys and mail drops.
Allied outside groups of both candidates have released polls during the last two weeks showing a single-digit race. But the Howey/DePauw polls have been the only reliable live-caller surveys that have not been conducted for one of the candidates or on behalf of an allied group.
Mourdock's lead in the latest Howey/DePauw survey is the largest lead he has held in any poll released publicly on the race throughout the entire campaign.
The poll, conducted April 30 and May 1 by Republican pollster Christine Matthews of Bellwether Research and Fred Yang of Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, surveyed 700 likely voters in next Tuesday's primary. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.7 percentage points.
All respondents have a history of voting in Republican primaries, the pollsters reported, with slightly more than three-quarters of respondents identifying as Republicans. Matthews writes that the GOP Senate primary could "attract some voters with no history of voting in a Republican primary." To account for that, pollsters "also dialed a separate list of voters with no primary vote history but who voted in the 2008 and 2010 general elections," she writes, but did not call those who had voted in Democratic primaries.
Those calls were discontinued after the first night for two reasons: First, Matthews writes, the calls "are expensive" since few of these voters said they were likely to vote in the GOP primary, and, second, they broke for Mourdock "in a similar fashion to our ... sample of past GOP primary voters." Since Mourdock has a significant lead in the overall poll, an expanded electorate is unlikely to be a decisive factor in the race; as a result, Matthews writes, the 50 interviews conducted on April 30 with voters with no past GOP primary vote history were ultimately not included.