Several new polls have been released in the past week, showing drastic changes in the polls for the U.S. Senate race in Indiana. In past polls, Republican Richard Mourdock and Democrat Joe Donnelly were statistically tied. Some polls even had Mourdock leading by a very small margin.
A poll by Howey/DePauw was released this week, showing a wide lead for Donnelly. He leads 47% to 36% over Donnelly, with about 11% of voters undecided. This is well outside the margin of error for the poll.
A second poll was released by Donnelly’s campaign team showing similar results. Donnelly leads with 43% over Mourdock’s 36% in that poll. The Mourdock campaign tried to claim that this poll was biased because it was done by Donnelly’s campaign associates, but polls like the Howey/DePauw one mentioned have undermined that argument.
A final poll from Rasmussen shows a smaller lead for Donnelly. In that poll, he only leads Mourdock 45% to 42%. This is within the margin of error of the poll, but is still significant because previous polls had showed Mourdock with a slight lead over Donnelly.
These polls were all conducted after the infamous comment about rape issued by Mourdock in the Senate debate a little over a week ago. Most have contributed Mourdock’s drop in the polls to this comment. It is obvious that the comment caused major backlash and has been a contributing factor to his drop in the polls.
Another factor contributing to the new poll numbers is campaign organization. Most analysts believe that Donnelly has run a far better campaign than Mourdock. Although Indiana leans conservative overall as a state, candidates cannot trust that people will vote a straight-Republican ticket. It now looks like the seat will go to Donnelly, but with a race that has been close for so long, anything can happen in the final days before Election Day.