|Congressman Joseph Donnelly|
Back to the poll. Some Democrats are overjoyed and claim the poll, showing a dead heat, means Mourdock's message is not catching on while Donnelly's is. The Mourdock campaign attempted to spin it the other way, that despite a significant expenditure of money Donnelly's numbers haven't moved.
Neither view is correct. There is an old adage that voters don't really start paying attention to politics until Labor Day which is still a month away. Unlike political pundits, the average person gets tired of 24/7/365 politics and tune outs until it is time to consider the options. The window during which people pay attention to the political races, with the somewhat exception of the presidential race, is about two months before the general election. While big race candidates have to run advertising before then to avoid being defined by an opponent, the advertising is generally not very effective in moving the numbers.
The narrow 42-40 Mourdock lead is simply is indicative of the fact that Mourdock took on a highly popular sitting Republican Senator in the primary...and soundly defeated him. Republicans voters remain divided because of the primary, but it is more a division of loyalty to a popular sitting U.S. Senator, not a division over the issues. There is no reason to believe as the Labor Day political aproaches, that Republicans and conservative-leaning independents won't return to supporting a conservative Republican candidate rather than a Democrat who voted for Obamacare. The Rasmussen poll's number suggests Obamacare is very unpopular in Indiana and that Donnelly's position on the issue leaves him vulnerable to attack.
|Indiana Treasurer |
On Labor Day the U.S. Senate race starts. That's when we should start taking these polls seriously.