Poll: Mike Braun Leading Joe Donnelly in Indiana Senate Race

Joe Donnelly, Mike Braun
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Hoosier businessman Mike Braun leads Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) in a poll released on Wednesday.

A Fox News poll released on Wednesday found that Braun leads over Donnelly–45 to 43 percent—while Libertarian candidate Lucy Brenton has three percent support and eight percent of Indianans remain undecided. The margin of error for the survey is 3.5 percent, making the race a dead heat between Braun and the incumbent senator, especially considering that one-third of Hoosier voters are saying they could change their minds before the November midterm election.

The Fox News survey found that 54 percent of Hoosiers approve of President Donald Trump’s job performance and 37 percent of Indianans say the economy is doing better than worse.

Sen. Donnelly faces an increasingly competitive re-election campaign in a state that President Trump won by 19 points during the 2016 presidential election.

Thirty-three percent of Hoosierd say they will cast their vote to show support for the president, compared to 31 percent to oppose the president.

Women prefer Braun over Donnelly by five points, and voters over 45-years-old also prefer Braun by ten points. White women also prefer Braun by 16 points over Sen. Donnelly.

Hoosiers said that their top three issues for the Senate race are the economy at 28 percent, health care at 27 percent, and immigration at 16 percent. Voters emphasizing the economy and immigration back Braun, while those concerned about health care support Donnelly.

Chris Anderson, a Democratic pollster, said in a comment on Wednesday, “In an electorate that is likely to be nearly 90 percent white and majority female, a Democrat has almost no path to victory without at least drawing even among white women.”

Daron Shaw, who conducted the poll with Anderson, said, “This is a Republican state, and this seat is one of the most difficult that the Democrats are defending. Donnelly is even with suburban whites and manages to get 12 percent of Hoosiers who voted for Trump, yet he’s still down in the race right now.”

Given Sen. Donnelly’s tight race, the Indiana Democrat faces increasing pressure to back President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Twenty-nine percent of Hoosiers said that a vote against Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court would make it less likely for them to support Donnelly in the fall midterm election, while 21 percent said they would support the Indiana Democrat and 38 percent suggested it would not make a difference.

Sen. Donnelly told reporters on Wednesday that he is “still reviewing everything” regarding Kavanaugh’s credentials for the Supreme Court.

When asked when he would make a decision, he said it would be in the “near future.”

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