EXCLUSIVE WTHR/HPI Poll: Bayh, Young Senate battle a dead heat

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Evan Bayh and Todd Young are locked in a statistical tie as they enter the final month of their Senate campaigns.

The WTHR/HPI Indiana Poll has Republican Representative Todd Young pulling to within one point of Democrat Evan Bayh.

Bayh's 4-point lead from September's poll shrank to the benefit of Libertarian Lucy Brenton, growing from 5 to 8 points.

Democrat Baron Hill was originally the nominee but dropped out in July so Bayh could run for his former Senate seat. The hotly contested race is a key battle for control of the US Senate.

A noteworthy change in the race is change in independent voters since the September poll. Bayh was leading in independents 41-35 in the September poll but now trails Young 35-38.

Evan Bayh's net favorability rating took a 16-point hit from the previous poll in September. In the course of a month, Bayh went from a 48% favorable / 28% unfavorable to 45% favorable / 39% unfavorable.

Bayh's one month favorability drop was seen across all party demographics, dropping 29-points with republicans, 13-points with independents and 11-points with democrats. Bayh's net favorability also dropped with men by 20-points and women by 13-points.

WTHR commissioned the poll with Howey Politics Indiana. The Public Opinion Strategies poll surveyed 600 likely voters in the state from October 3-5. It has a four-point margin of error.