An internal poll conducted for Rep. Joe Donnelly's Senate campaign shows the Indiana Democrat in a dead heat with Republican state Treasurer Richard Mourdock. Donnelly has 41 percent of the vote to Mourdock's 40 percent, according to the poll, conducted by Global Strategy Group.
The poll also shows that Hoosier voters view Donnelly positively, though he remains less defined than Mourdock. Donnelly is viewed favorably by 34 percent of respondents and unfavorably by 17 percent, according to the poll. Likely voters are more divided on Mourdock, who has a 37-percent favorability rating but is seen unfavorably by 33 percent.
This is only the third poll conducted since Mourdock beat longtime Sen. Dick Lugar in a brutal primary this past May. The results of the new survey are similar to another Global Strategy Group poll conducted for Donnelly's campaign just after the primary: That survey showed both men with 40 percent of the vote. A Rasmussen Reports poll conducted last week also had virtually the same result as the new Donnelly internal: 42 percent for Mourdock to 40 percent for Donnelly (and though Rasmussen usually conducts automated polls, those surveys are illegal in Indiana, so this poll used live interviews.)
Democrats have touted their chances in the Hoosier State since Lugar lost to the more conservative, and more confrontational, Mourdock. Indiana is a Republican-leaning state in this presidential year, making it a tough climate for Donnelly to overcome. But the Senate race certainly looks competitive from the polls and outside spending thus far. Crossroads GPS has been on air in the state, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has also funded an ad there.
The Global Strategy Group poll was conducted August 2-5, surveying 601 likely voters, for a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4 percentage points.