Democrats and Republicans can take both positives and negatives away from a new poll of likely Indiana voters in this fall’s general election.
The race to fill the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Dan Coats shows the Democratic candidate, former Sen. Evan Bayh, with a 7 point lead over his GOP opponent, Rep. Todd Young, according to the Monmouth University poll.
“If Bayh can hold on, this will be a crucial pickup in the Democrats’ effort to retake the Senate,” Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, wrote in his analysis of the findings.
But this does not mean the Hoosier State is starting to lean blue across the board. In the same poll, Donald Trump holds a commanding 11-point lead over Hillary Clinton in the presidential race. The real estate mogul pulled in 47 percent of the likely voters polled to Clinton’s 36 percent.
Current Indiana governor and Trump running mate, Mike Pence could be a reason for Trump’s strong showing.
“Pence is likely boosting the GOP ticket’s prospects here, as Indiana voters really don’t like either of the two presidential nominees,” Murray said. “In fact, their favorability ratings are among the lowest the Monmouth University poll has found anywhere we’ve polled.”
In the race to succeed Pence as governor, Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb, the Republican nominee, was slightly ahead with 42 percent of the vote compared to 41 percent for his Democratic rival, former Indiana House Speaker John Gregg. Holcomb replaced Pence on the GOP ballot after Pence withdrew to join the presidential ticket.
The poll was conducted by telephone August 13-16 among 403 likely Indiana voters and had a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.