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Southsider2k12
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Indiana’s 2012 split could be Pence and Donnelly

By TOM LoBIANCO The Associated Press September 10, 2012 8:44AM

Republican governor candidate Mike Pence (center) celebrates the opening of the first Victory Center with Lake County GOP chairperson Kim Krull (left) and congressional candidate Joel Phelps in St. John, Ind. Saturday June 16, 2012. The Lake County location is the first of nine centers to open across the state. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media

INDIANAPOLIS — As the countdown to the November election picks up steam, establishment Democrats and Republicans have been quietly talking about the possibility that Indiana swing voters could pick Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Joe Donnelly in November.

If Pence and Donnelly both won the election, it would be in keeping with a rich tradition of Hoosier voting that has sent candidates like former Democratic U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh to Washington and Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels to the Statehouse in the same election.

“There is a theory that at a minimum, voters subconsciously look for balance in government,” said Andrew Downs, director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics.

The 2010 elections brought a rare sweep of statewide offices for Republicans. Democrats have never dominated in modern Indiana politics, but have typically maintained at least a foothold, via either the governor’s office or a Senate seat since 1986.

Democratic Party operatives have quietly begun placing bets on who can spy the first dual campaign sign touting Donnelly for Senate and Pence for governor. Indiana’s Republican Party, meanwhile, has worked more as a base of operations for the Pence campaign than Mourdock, who has largely maintained his own organization outside the state party.

But talk of favorite sons has remained largely within party confines, as neither group wants to be seen playing favorites and both need to publicly argue that they can still win both top-ticket races.

That favoritism has already played out on the campaign trail some. Bayh campaigned side-by-side with Donnelly last month but has yet to do the same for Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg.

Daniels is keeping his nose out of both races, following a promise he would no longer talk politics as he gets ready to run Purdue University after his term ends in January.

Joe McKinney, an education professor at Ball State University, might be one of those split-ticket voters Democrats are so desperately searching for. McKinney, a moderate Republican, said he will be voting for Pence and has not decided whether he will vote for Mourdock or Donnelly.

“I think there will be a lot of split tickets,” said McKinney.

In 2008, Hoosiers delivered Indiana for a Democratic president for the first time in 44 years, while also returning Daniels for a second term with a resounding 20-point victory. In 2004, Hoosiers voted overwhelmingly for President George W. Bush and Daniels and also sent Bayh back to Washington for a second term.

Democratic operatives are now hoping that Hoosiers can again look past the presidential race — former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is expected to easily retake the state for Republicans — and vote for Donnelly and Pence on the same ballot.

“There is a really good chance of that happening,” Downs said. “Some people say that Indiana is a red state. I think it’s really accurate to say it’s a more moderate to conservative state.”
Southsider2k12
http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/govt-an...843efb942f.html

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By Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078
(6) Comments

INDIANAPOLIS | The race for Indiana's U.S. Senate seat remains too close to call, even as the Republican candidates for governor and president enjoy large leads over their Democratic opponents, according to a new survey of Hoosier voters.

The Sept. 19-23 Howey/DePauw University poll of 800 likely voters found Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Joe Donnelly ahead of Republican Richard Mourdock, 40 percent to 38 percent, with 7 percent supporting Libertarian Andrew Horning. Fifteen percent of voters said they remain undecided.

The poll has a margin of error of plus- or minus-3.4 percent, meaning Donnelly and Mourdock are statistically tied in the race to replace U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar, who Mourdock defeated in the Republican primary.

Donnelly's marginal lead suggests Hoosiers may continue their tradition of ticket-splitting, or voting for a candidate of one political party in one race and choosing a different party's candidate in another.

That's because Republican Mike Pence holds a 13 point lead over Democrat John Gregg in the race for Indiana governor and Republican Mitt Romney leads Democratic President Barack Obama by 12 points in the state.

According to the poll, which was co-sponsored by The Times, Pence is favored by 47 percent of voters, compared to 34 percent for Gregg and 5 percent for Libertarian Rupert Boneham. Fifteen percent said they are undecided.

Most troubling for Gregg, the former president of Vincennes University and a former speaker of the Indiana House, is 45 percent of Hoosiers said they've never heard of him. Only 19 percent reported having no knowledge of Pence, a six-term Congressman.

Both candidates are viewed favorably by voters who have an opinion.

In the presidential race, Obama appears unlikely to win Indiana's 11 electoral votes a second time. The poll found 52 percent of Hoosiers favor Romney versus 40 percent supporting the president. Nine percent are undecided.

Romney may be leading because a majority of Indiana voters believe the United States is on the wrong track, according to the survey. At the same time, 59 percent said Indiana is headed in the right direction and 58 percent approve of the job performance of Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels.

With more than a month to go before Election Day on Nov. 6 and millions of dollars yet to be spent on television advertising and get out the vote efforts, these results could still change.

But if Donnelly prevails while Hoosiers choose Republican candidates for president and governor, it would not be unusual.

In 2008, Hoosiers voted for Obama, a Democrat, while simultaneously electing Daniels, a Republican, to a second term. Indiana also voted for Republican President George W. Bush in 2004 while re-electing Democratic U.S. Sen Evan Bayh. Democratic Gov. Frank O'Bannon was re-elected in 2000 even as Hoosiers picked Bush for president.

Mourdock said Tuesday he believes the effects of negative television commercials from the May primary election and more recently are partially responsible for his support deficit compared to fellow Republicans Pence and Romney.

"We've had $5 million of negative ads run against us and certainly negative ads have some impact," Mourdock said. "But believe me we like where we are right now, we're going to win this race."

Donnelly also said he's happy with his standing among voters going into the final five weeks of the campaign.

"Our tradition is Richard Lugar, our tradition is Evan Bayh, where we work together and where we don't worry about politics," Donnelly said. "I feel honored with where we are."
Ang
I participated in that poll! It's nice to see the results. Thanks for posting!
Southsider2k12
QUOTE(Ang @ Sep 27 2012, 01:08 PM) *

I participated in that poll! It's nice to see the results. Thanks for posting!


Hopefully you weren't one of the 45% who didn't know who the Dems candidate for Governor was. That just blows my mind.
Southsider2k12
More at link

http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/govt-an...8a5636d7c1.html

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INDIANAPOLIS | Despite months of campaigning and millions of dollars spent on ads by the candidates and their allies, polls continue to show Democrat Joe Donnelly and Republican Richard Mourdock statistically tied in their race to become Indiana's next U.S. senator.

Could Monday's debate finally break the deadlock?

Donnelly and Mourdock, along with Libertarian Andrew Horning, will meet at 6 p.m. region time Monday in an Indianapolis television studio for the first of two one-hour debates before Election Day, Nov. 6.
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