Democrats in Indiana have tried to paint Dan Coats as a lobbyist interloper while Brad Ellsworth has campaigned on the hope that Indiana voters have a case of collective amnesia. The latest Rasmussen survey of likely voters shows that strategy succeeding as well as anyone could have predicted. Coats has a 21-point lead over Ellsworth, who barely makes out of the twenties:
Indiana still has the look of a likely Republican Senate pickup, with former Senator Dan Coats remaining comfortably ahead of his Democratic opponent Brad Ellsworth
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the state finds Coats with 51% support, while Ellsworth earns 30% of the vote, his poorest showing to date. Six percent (6%) favor some other candidate in the race, while 12% remain undecided.
Last month, Coats dropped below 50% but still led Ellsworth 47% to 33%.
The Democratic pushback against Coats has had its results — and all bad. The changes to each candidate are within the margin of error, but the next change is seven points in Coats’ favor. That’s not exactly Bradmentum.
Despite their attempts to paint Coats as an eeeeeeevil lobbyist, voters have a strong favorable impression of Coats, 56/25, for a +31. Ellsworth is above water in favorability but with weaker numbers, 47/33, for a +14. Among independents it’s only 36/32, with only 7% saying “very favorable.” Indies like Coats somewhat better, 47/31, with nine percent “very favorable.” That only gives Coats a 2-point advantage in the head-to-head among indies, though, 34/32.
Coats will get help on the issues. Sixty percent favor repeal of ObamaCare, as do 56% of independents. Fifty-nine percent favor passage of an immigration-enforcement law in Indiana modeled on Arizona’s, and half of independents agree (while only 31% disagree).
Most problematic for Ellsworth, voters in Indiana dislike Barack Obama, who has a 41/58 job approval rating, with 45% strongly disapproving. Independents are only slightly less unhappy, with a 42/57 and 40% strongly disapproving. Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, on the other hand, has a 58/38 approval rating, although that splits 51/49 among indies.
Ellsworth has a long way to go to catch up to Coats, and so far, he’s going in the wrong direction. That’s because the Democrat is going against the grain of Indiana’s consensus, and as long as that remains true, he will continue to lag far behind Coats.