Lugar Appears Headed For Defeat In Primary
The latest poll of the Indiana Republican Senate primary is not at all good news for Dick Lugar:
A new poll shows Treasurer Richard Mourdock building a commanding lead over Sen. Richard Lugar.
The Howey/DePauw Indiana Battleground Poll, conducted by two prominent Republican and Democratic pollsters, shows Mourdock with a 48 percent to 38 percent lead over Lugar.
Voters will decide the fate of Lugar, a six-term incumbent, in Tuesday’s primary election.
The poll was conducted April 30 to May 1 of 700 likely voters by Republican Christine Matthews of Bellwether Research and Democrat Fred Yang of Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group. It has margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.
The poll shows a dramatic slide for Lugar, who in his last election in 2006 won with more than 80 percent of the vote after Democrats considered him so unbeatable that they didn’t field a candidate against him.
Only about a month ago, a Howey/DePauw Battleground poll showed Lugar leading Mourdock 42 percent to 35 percent.
When voters who were not solid in their support for a candidate yet and were merely leaning in one direction or the other are removed, Mourdock is still leading 43 percent to 35 percent over Lugar.
Yang said that in January, he conducted a poll for the Indiana Democratic Party which showed 56 percent of Hoosier Republicans were ready to make a change in the Senate and elect someone else. This poll, he said, shows that may happen as Republicans appear poised to reject Lugar.
Interestingly, it doesn’t appear that this is just a reflection of Tea Party anger at Lugar:
Sixty percent of the Republican primary voters in he poll want a senator “to focus first on trying to solve many of our country’s problems, even if that means working with elected officials across the aisle to do it.”
Only 30 percent said they wanted a senator to focus first on standing up for conservative principles.
Yet those same voters are poised to reject Lugar, who has come under withering criticism for working with Democrats, and instead choose Mourdock, who has said he will focus on building a Republican majority so big that no one has to seek compromise with the other party.
It may just be the case that Lugar, who was elected to the Senate in the same election that gave Richard Nixon his second term, has outstayed his welcome.