Wednesday, May 02, 2012

New Poll Has Lugar Up Two Points

A poll taken on behalf of a political action committee backing Sen. Richard Lugar's re-election shows Lugar leading Richard Mourdock by two points, 44-42%, with 14% still undecided. The poll was conducted by Magellan Strategies for Lunch Pail Republicans and surveyed 400 Republicans. A Wenzel Strategies survey taken for Citizens United, a pro-Mourdock PAC, showed Lugar trailing by 5 percentage points. A recent internal Mourdock poll showed Mourdock leading Lugar by one percentage point. The Lugar campaign has criticized both of those poll results, but it refuses to release its own internal poll numbers.

Brian Howey of Howey Politics, an unabashed Lugar backer, blasted the media for giving credence to the Wenzel Strategies poll, which he called "extremely questionable." Howey suggested that the poll was nothing more than a push poll designed to shift momentum late in the campaign towards Mourdock. Howey, who has been responsible during the campaign for manufacturing the most outrageous and inaccurate allegations against Mourdock under the guise of journalism and which have been conveniently used by the Lugar campaign in attack ads, complained that the media had been caught up in "a scheme" by pro-Mourdock forces that should be "a source of embarrassment."

Howey claims that partisan polls exaggerate their own candidate's strength by at least 6% and should be discounted accordingly. If that is the case, then Lugar is trailing Mourdock if a pro-Lugar poll shows Lugar leading by only 2%. Howey says that the only credible poll is one he commissioned in conjunction with DePauw that is conducted by Chris Matthews and Fred Yang, which will be released on Friday. Howey's comments, however, have the effect of discrediting his own poll by suggesting in advance of its release that any poll that would show Mourdock leading is not reliable.

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