New poll shows change in Indiana Senate race


Just four days before the election, Democrat Joe Donnelly has jumped out to a large lead in the U.S. Senate race, according to one poll.

The Howey/DePauw Indiana Battleground Poll shows Donnelly with an 11-point lead over Republican Richard Mourdock in the race.

Mourdock attended a mid-morning Kiwanis Club meeting at Robin Run Village Friday after the Howey Poll numbers were released, but he was clinging to his own internal poll that shows him up by two points.

"We like what we see in our poll. We are staying focused on the real number, which is the unemployment number. Today, I say again, unemployment is going even higher.

But when you drill down into the Howey poll, it gives Donnelly a three-to-one edge in independents, coupled with only 70 percent support for Mourdock in his own party.

Add to that the fact he trails 30-50 percent with women voters and, Republican analyst Peter Rusthoven says, "you have had a race move in the final two weeks from dead even and go either way to an 11-point lead, which is a major reaction to an unforced error."

That "error" is everywhere on television and in mailings to voters that reads, "you don't what to hear what Richard Mourdock has to say." When you open it, you hear "Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, it is something that God intended. And that is Richard Mourdock in his own words."

Mourdock is now running television commercials trying to reach out to female voters he may have offended.

"I don't agree with Richard Mourdock on everything, but Donnelly and Obama? No way. No way," said one woman in the campaign ad.

"Whether Republican or Democrat, we are all Americans," Donnelly said in an ad.

The Democrat continues to reach out to what he calls "Lugar Republicans" and it appears to be working.

"Our polls have tracked all along that we were ahead, but obviously, it is a little bit more now," Donnelly said.

Despite all of the signs that seem to point to a Democratic upset, Mourdock remains convinced loyal Republican voters will be with him on Election Day.

"Campaign season, silly season, you see a desperate campaign out there. We are going to win this race. We are very confident. We are looking forward to being the 51st vote to repeal Obamacare," Mourdock said.

The Washington Post has also changed the race from "toss-up" to leaning Democratic.

Earlier story

A new poll released today shows Indiana Democratic Senate candidate Joe Donnelly with a double-digit lead over Republican Richard Mourdock.

The Howey/DePauw Indiana Battleground Poll finds that Donnelly has 47 percent to Mourdock's 36 percent.

Just two months ago, a Howey/DePauw survey found the race was a statistical dead heat. Since then, women have left Mourdock after making comments during a debate, saying that God intends pregnancies that occur after rapes.  Now, the poll shows voters favor Donnelly by a larger margin, 50 to 32 percent.

The poll surveyed 800 likely Hoosier voters from October 28 to October 30.

Officials with the Mourdock campaign called the survey a "Democratic poll" and pointed to its own numbers, showing the race continues to be a dead heat.