A few days after a Club for Growth poll showed Sen. Dick Lugar (Ind.) narrowly trailing his GOP primary opponent, the Senator’s campaign fired back Friday with his own survey giving him a double-digit lead. The Lugar poll showed him ahead of state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, 45 percent to 31 percent, with 23 percent undecided.
Those results aren’t even close to what the Club for Growth released in its own sponsored poll last month. The conservative, anti-tax organization’s survey showed Mourdock in a statistical dead heat with Lugar, 34 percent to 32 percent, with 34 percent of respondents undecided.
The dueling polls are indicative of what most Hoosier Republicans expect to be a heated primary between the six-term Senator and Mourdock.
The deep-pocketed club has not endorsed Mourdock, but it has already targeted Lugar on television, condemning his record on government spending.
Lugar’s pollsters, Linda DiVall and Randall Gutermuth, argued that the Senator’s standing is strong in light of the club’s ad blitz.
“Senator Lugar’s campaign is resonating with primary voters,” DiVall and Gutermuth wrote in a polling memo. “His support and job approval have improved since the beginning of the year, even in light of a major attack ad campaign against him immediately preceding this poll.”
Lugar ran his own ads responding to the club.
Lugar’s polling firm, American Viewpoint, surveyed 600 likely GOP primary voters from July 27 to 28. The poll had a margin of error of 4 points.
One of the club’s primary pollsters, Basswood Research, performed the survey of 500 likely GOP primary voters from July 23 to 24. It had a margin of error of 4.4 points.
The club and Lugar’s campaign did not release the full surveys including all of the questions.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., carries a musket on stage as he speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Thursday March 6, 2014.