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« Strategy Memo: Obama's Rough Patch | Blog Home Page | Franken Owes $70K »

IN: Thompson Up Big

Consider this a preview of what September and October are going to look like: As Hoosier voters prepare to head to the polls on Tuesday, the third survey in three days is out with yet another very different picture of the state's gubernatorial primary. Just wait until Senate and House races get into the act with their own cascade of numbers down the road.

The survey, taken 4/23-24 for Howey Politics Indiana by Gauge Market Research, quizzed 600 likely Democratic primary voters and 600 likely general election voters on the governor's race, for a margin of error of +/- 4% each. Democrats Jill Long Thompson and Jim Schellinger and Republican incumbent Mitch Daniels were surveyed.

Primary Election Matchup
Thompson 45
Schellinger 27

General Election Matchups
Daniels 55 (-1 from last, 2/08)
Thompson 36 (+3)

Daniels 56 (+2)
Schellinger 33 (+2)

The Howey-Gauge poll has, in two consecutive surveys, shown Daniels running much better against either Democrat than other polls taken in Indiana. But the wide gap in the primary, analyst Brian Howey writes, is attributable to Schellinger's failure to boost his statewide name recognition. Just 50% of voters in the Democratic primary knew of Schellinger, and just 23% knew enough to have an opinion of him. Long Thompson, on the other hand, is known by 59% of voters, which is not much better.

Compare that to the 99% of voters who knew of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in the same survey and it becomes evident why Daniels, the well-funded though embattled incumbent, has a big lead in general election matchups.

While it may be a little like comparing apples and oranges, the plethora of recent surveys does give us an early opportunity to judge pollsters side by side. Keep in mind these polls out recently, from Research 2000, Selzer & Co. and Howey-Gauge, as Long Thompson and Schellinger battle toward Tuesday. We've included the polls in the chronological order of their survey dates, from earliest to latest (Selzer & Co.: 4/20-23; Research 2000: 4/21-24; Howey-Gauge: 4/23-24):

Sel R2K H-G
Thompson 26 48 45
Schellinger 28 42 27

Something to keep an eye on as the votes come in on Tuesday.