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« On PN Radio: Childers Out | Blog Home Page | Dems Lose Top NV Recruit »

Undecided Romps In IN

Perhaps Indiana voters are just too concerned with their votes in the presidential contest to make up their minds about a puny governor's race. A new poll conducted for the Indianapolis Star shows a huge plurality of Democratic primary voters remain undecided just a week before two Democrats fight for the right to take on incumbent Governor Mitch Daniels.

The survey, conducted by Des Moines-based Selzer & Company between 4/20-23, surveyed 500 likely Democratic primary voters for a margin of error of +/- 4.2% and 384 likely general election voters for a margin of error of +/- 5%. Daniels and Democrats Jim Schellinger, an architect and businessman, and Jill Long Thompson, a former member of Congress, were surveyed.

Primary Election Matchup
(All / Ind)
Schellinger 28 / 28
Thompson 26 / 34

General Election Matchups
Thompson 44 (nc from last, 11/07)
Daniels 43 (nc)

Daniels 45 (+5)
Schellinger 41 (-3)

That Long Thompson leads among independents is an important boost for her campaign in a primary that is likely to see unprecedented involvement from those non-aligned voters. But with 46% of the state's voters remaining undecided, the race could hinge on name recognition and late breaks. Schellinger has been on television more than Long Thompson, but Long Thompson is a known political name, perhaps giving her the leg up on attracting those undecided voters.

Either Democrat would be in strong position to challenge Daniels in an overwhelmingly red state; despite his healthy fundraising clip and his political talent, Daniels' weak general election poll numbers have been a recurring theme this year.

The incumbent is seeing some improvement, though. 47% of voters now approve of Daniels' job performance, up seven points since November, while his disapproval rating has dropped from 50% then to 40% now. While lower than a 50% approval rating is dangerous, it's still nowhere nearly as bad as the upside down rating Daniels owned in November.