A new Indiana poll shows GOP U.S. Senate candidate Mike Braun surging to a four-point lead over Democrat incumbent Joe Donnelly in the race for Donnelly’s Senate seat. The poll found Braun leading, 47%-43%.
The poll was conducted by Mason Strategies. Stephen Spiker of Mason Strategies commented, “When applying the margin of error to each candidate’s vote share, the race is statistically tied. However, two weeks before the election you’d rather be Mike Braun than Joe Donnelly with these numbers.”
30% of likely voters said they were more likely to vote for Donnelly because he voted against the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. As Indy Politics noted:
There is a 29-pt gender gap: Men prefer Braun 55% – 36%, while women prefer Donnelly 39% to 49% … Independents favor Donnelly 48% – 37% … Braun is leading 83% to 7% among those who approve of Trump’s job performance; Donnelly leads 84% to 6% among those who do not. This suggests the race has become nationalized, as neither is winning a significant crossover.
Two polls that were conducted between October 12-16 showed Donnelly with a lead; the Gravis poll found Donnelly leading Braun 44%-40%, while Libertarian candidate Lucy Brenton picked up 7% of the vote. In that poll, 83% of Democrats supported Donnelly while 73% of Republicans supported Braun. Independents barely preferred Donnelly, 34.5% to 32.4%. 18% of Independents were undecided.
In a SurveyUSA poll conducted in the same time period as the Gravis poll, Donnelly’s lead was narrower; he garnered 41% of the vote, with Braun at 40% and Brenton at 8%. The Indianapolis Business Journal, reporting on the Survey USA poll, stated:
Donnelly leads with female voters and voters younger than 50, while Braun leads with white voters. For voters older than 50, Donnelly and Braun are tied with 42 percent each. Braun leads with voters who have a high school education, and Donnelly leads with those who are college-educated. In the suburbs—where some political observers say races could be decided this year—Donnelly and Braun are practically tied for support, with Braun at 42 percent and Donnelly at 41 percent.
Braun has stated, “The biggest thing [voters] are dissatisfied with Donnelly on is his masquerade as a moderate, when on 100 percent of the important pieces of legislation he’s been with Chuck Schumer and Bernie [Sanders] and Elizabeth [Warren] — the liberal side of his party.”
Donnelly voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act at the end of 2017. Braun said, “The Democrats have gambled and misstepped when they thought tax reform was going to be a class-division issue of only helping the wealthy. That’s not been the case. When employees see that employers are sharing the benefits, what do the Democrats have? More government that they already don’t know how to pay for, borrowing from your kids and your grandkids? Not much of a message.”
Braun, who did not buy a new car until he was in his mid-fifties, said once, “The key to survival is that when times are good you don’t forget where you came from and you don’t build crazy overhead just because you can. You live like you are going out of business every day and it makes you healthy.”