The presidential race could impact the U.S. Senate race between Evan Bayh and Todd Young, the gubernatorial race between Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb and John Gregg, and the 9th and 2nd CD races involving Shelli Yoder, Trey Hollingsworth, Lynn Coleman and Rep. Jackie Walorski.
Friday, October 21, 2016 10:35 AM
By BRIAN A. HOWEY
Ind. – We’ve all watched arguably the worst month any presidential
candidate has had since the summer of 1972 when George McGovern had to
jettison his running mate. As Donald Trump spirals away with Mike Pence
in tow, the question now is what kind of down-ballot carnage, if any,
follows. On the Indiana scene, this renewed HPI Tsunami Warning has the
potential to impact four races: Governor, U.S. Senate, and the 2nd and
9th CDs. In the 9th, a new poll by Normington Petts gives Republican
Trey Hollingsworth just a 40-38% lead over Democrat Shelli Yoder, while
the House Majority PAC began a $640,000 buy on her behalf Wednesday,
Daily Kos reported.
It starts with the presidential race where
three polls in October show the Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary
Johnson race hovering around the margin of error. The latest was the
Ball State/WISH Indiana Survey, which had Trump leading 43-37% with
Johnson at 9%. A Monmouth Poll last week had Trump leading Clinton 45 to
41%, while the WTHR/Howey Politics Indiana Poll of Oct. 3-5
had Trump up 43-38% with Johnson at 11%. Clinton gained 2% from our
September poll. The question moving forward is whether Johnson stays at
11%, or whether Clinton and pick up some of that support.
WTHR/Howey Politics Indiana will
poll once more, but those numbers will come less than a week before the
election. In the gubernatorial race between Democrat John Gregg,
Republican Eric Holcomb, and importantly, Libertarian Rex Bell, the
latest polling has been problematic. Last week, Monmouth University had
Gregg leading Holcomb 50-38%, a number almost no one was buying. In the
WTHR/Howey Politics Indiana Poll of Oct. 3-5, we had Gregg leading
41-39% with Bell at 5%. Democratic sources tell HPI they were seeing a
similar margin, though with fewer undecideds. Holcomb sources also
believe this race is within the margin of error.
Ball State/WISH Poll had the gubernatorial race at 48-43%, but the
problem there is that the survey did not include Bell. In 2012,
Libertarian Rupert Boneham polled 3.9%, which is not an insignificant
percentage when the major party candidates are in or near a dead heat.
While Bell has not been a particularly impressive candidate (especially
compared to Senate nominee Lucy Brenton), the fact that presidential
candidate Gary Johnson was polling 11% in our last two polls shows that
many voters are capable of choosing the third party option.