Monday, April 25, 2016

Poll Shows Young With Healthy Lead Over Stutzman

A WTHR/Howey Politics poll shows Todd Young with a healthy, 12-point lead over his Republican Senate primary opponent, Marlin Stutzman. The poll of Republican voters gives Young a 43-31% edge over Stutzman with more than a quarter of the voters still undecided with a little more than a week to go before election day.

I wouldn't count Stutzman out yet. I expect the final vote count will see the winning candidate prevailing by a single-digit vote margin. Stutzman polled much better on election day six years ago than he did in polls prior to the 2010 Senate primary election where he finished second behind Dan Coats. A poll taken a week before that election showed Stutzman trailing in third with only 18% of the vote, with Coats in the lead with 36% of the vote. Stutzman wound up second on election day with 29% of the vote compared to Coats' winning margin of 39%.

The Trump factor is a big unknown. Will those who traditionally don't participate in Republican primary elections who come out to vote for Trump cast a vote for Stutzman or Young? Neither Stutzman nor Young has endorsed a presidential candidate, although Young did attend an anti-Trump gathering of wealthy GOP donors in Palm Beach, Florida last month. What will the rate of voter participation look like this year? Will the decision of Cruz and Kasich to collude in an effort to deny Trump the nomination affect voter turnout?

Early voting numbers to date aren't particularly impressive. The Indiana Secretary of State's office reports that more than 110,000 people have already cast early votes in this year's primary election. More than 64,000 of those, or about 58%, are Republican voters. That's only about 10% of the total number of Republican voters who participated in Indiana's presidential primary election four years ago. Compare that to the 2008 Democratic primary election in Indiana against Clinton and Obama when nearly 1.3 million voters participated in the primary election. Also, those early votes this year were cast before Hoosiers learned that Kasich made a last-minute decision not to compete in the primary election.

Obviously, those who voted early and cast a vote for Kasich are extremely angry that their votes were wasted on a candidate who doesn't even want their votes. I've said it before, and I think it bears repeating. The Indiana Republican Party has been making every effort possible to suppress voter turnout in this year's Republican presidential primary, which is the exact opposite tact taken by Democrats in 2008. The lack of enthusiasm shown by the poor, early voting numbers seems to indicate their plan is working.


Anonymous said...

I was undecided until I began seeing those really negative adds about Stutzman and his voting record. At a glance it would appear Young's supporters would rather tell half the tale than resort to the truth about why Stutzman's votes were cast in such a fashion. Not to mention, anytime a Chamber of Commerce comes out for a candidate it is not in the public's best interest - EVER. Everyone with any sense realizes there is "the rest of the story" not being told.

FYI: I did support Young on his run against Hill, not this election for the reasons mentioned.

Anonymous said...

A week after stopping by the local Trump campaign HQ, I received a Hamilton County Judicial System Jury Questionnaire. At middle-age, having owned property and being a registered voter in this country for 30 years, this is the first I've ever seen of this form. I noticed that if I do not send it back in within 10 days they will remove my voting registration. Coincidence?