Democrats face an uphill battle in the Senate due to the 2018 map. They may, however be in a stronger position than may have been expected according to a new Gravis Marketing likely vote poll of Indiana. The poll was conducted using an online panel between April 6th and 11th. The poll gives Democratic Incumbent Senator Joe Donnelly 50%-32% edge over Republican Congressman Todd Rokita and a 46%-36% lead over Republican Congressman Luke Messer. Both match-ups resulted in 18% of respondents identifying as “uncertain.” Joe Donnelly has a 37%-32% approval rating in this new Gravis poll which is slightly weaker than the recent Morning Consult Poll that gave Donnelly a 42%-32% approval spread.
The largest surprise in the poll may be in the Republican Primary. Gravis Marketing found former State Representative Mike Braun leading the field with 26%. Second place was Congressman Todd Rokita at 16% followed by Congressman Luke Messer at 13%. The likely voter sample for the Republican primary has a 5.9% margin of error. Therefore, the Senate race is still within the margin of error. 45% of voters remain undecided, leaving a path for Rokita or Messer to make up the needed ground before May 8th. The uncertainty of the Republican primary may be contributing to the poor performance Messer and Rokita are showing against Donnelly in the general election match-up.
The good news for Democrats, however, ends with the Senate race. Voters indicate that they intend to support a Republican for Congress over a Democrat by a 49%-37% margin. The most recent election where all nine of Indiana’s Congressional races were contested by both major parties was 2014. That year, the Republican party won 58.78% of total Congressional votes in Indiana to 37.42% for Democrats. That same year, Republicans won the National popular vote for the House of Representatives by 51.2%-45.5%. This suggests that while voters may be willing to send Donnelly back to Washington as a “check” on the President, they are weary of giving Democrats control of the House as well.
Freshman Senator Todd Young is at 30%-31% with 38% uncertain. Republican Governor Holcomb holds a healthy 52%-28% approval spread with 20% uncertain. President Trump is holding stronger numbers in Indiana than he is nationwide. Job performance numbers for the President in Indiana are 47% approval to 48% disapproval.
The issues voters were asked about further highlight the conservative lean of the state of Indiana. Voters support the new tax reform law by a 41%-36% margin but are mostly indifferent regarding linking that approval to candidate choice. 29% say they are uncertain whether support for the law would make them more likely (35%) or less likely (36%) to support a candidate.
A plurality (45%-44%) of voters in the Gravis Marketing poll indicate support for a ban on the ability to obtain an abortion in Indiana. That margin increases to 45%-39% if the ban only pertained to the ability to obtain an abortion after 20 weeks.
Voters support President Trump’s recent move to send National Guard Members to the U.S.-Mexican border by a strong 49%-36% margin. Voters are split over President Trump’s actions regarding tariffs and trade policy with 40% supporting and 41% opposed.