Saturday, July 30, 2011

Poll Commissioned by Lugar Campaign Reveals 35-Year Senator's Re-Election Bid in Trouble

Senator Richard Lugar
The most recent \poll, commissioned by Sen. Richard Lugar's campaign committee and conducted by American Viewpoint, shows the 35 year incumbent leading State Treasurer Richard Mourdock 45% to 31% with 23% undecided.   It has a margin of error of +/- 4 points.

Those numbers reveal extraordinary vulnerability for Lugar.  Even though it is a poll commissioned by the Lugar people, he doesn't even score 50% in his own party despite 35 years in the Senate.  Lugar only gets 45% of the support despite having 100% name ID.  Also, the fact that 23% of Republican primary voters are "undecided" about his re-election is troublesome for the Senator.  The fourteen point lead is nothing given the election is nine months away.

What I find stunning is that the Lugar people actually feel this is a good poll for them and were eager to release it in light of the Basswood Research poll commissioned by the pro-Mourdock Club for Growth which showed Mourdock leading Lugar 34-32.  Any objective political analyst would look at that poll and conclude the 35 year incumbent was very vulnerable.

Mike O'Brien writing for the pro-Lugar Capitol and Washington blog, however, sums up the results this way:
Senator Lugar’s campaign is resonating with primary voters. 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.
State Treasurer Richard Mourdock
Mourdock’s campaign has garnered no momentum. His support equals Lugar’s negatives and has not grown beyond that point.
I'm sure Mike knows enough about politics to know that he is doing nothing but spin. That is clearly not a good poll for Lugar.

On his blog Advance Indiana, Gary Welsh further highlights how off the mark the pro-Lugar spin is, concluding:
Interestingly, Lugar's campaign is spinning the American Viewpoint numbers as an indication his message is resonating with voters even though his poll numbers have dropped markedly over those cited by his campaign just months ago. Before Mourdock launched his campaign, Lugar's campaign released poll numbers indicating that Lugar was more popular than virtually any Indiana politician, including Gov. Mitch Daniels, with 66% of all voters viewing him favorably and only 19% viewing him unfavorably.
Exactly.  Senator Richard Lugar is in trouble and his own poll reveals it.


Indy Student said...

I wouldn't say C&W is Pro-Lugar. I see them more as pro-establishment. If the Republicans re-gain control in the Senate (something that I think is a pretty steep hill to climb, even though they're likely to make gains), they'd rather have someone with Lugar's seniority. They see Senators like Rand Paul and, despite being a media darling, he gets relatively little accomplished. That's not a diss to Senator Paul, it's just how the US Senate works.

Paul K. Ogden said...

IS, I think you're right..they are pro-establishment. And Lugar is the establishment. I don't think C&W would ever oppose a Republican incumbent no matter how bad he is. You dont get much worse than Ballard. Still the only one over at C&W that defends Ballard appears to be Jon Elrod.

Mike O'Brien said...

I can't really speak for everyone at CW. From my standpoint, I'm not exactly pro-establishment, but I can see how it would appear that way.

I'm not one who swings wildly and emotionally from issue to issue. I think intellectual consistency would be a nice characteristic in our elected officials. I support Lugar because I support his positions and approach to the process regardless of an ever-changing political context. But political pragmatism is also a factor. We're in the minority in the U.S. Senate. We can be all high and mighty and apply purity litmus tests when we have a majority and can actually set the agenda. In the meantime, let's not start putting safe seats at risk.

My non-establishment credentials include supporting Marlin Stutzman in the Senate primary last year and opposing Coats, and taking an anybody-but-Burton position in the 5th.

As for Ballard, I don't write about him not because I don't support him, but because Jon is the city-insider who has a better perspective. I sound dumb on plenty of other issues without wading into city issues I know little about beyond what I read in the paper.

But hey, thanks for reading!