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September 22, 2008

Daniels Faces An Obama Problem

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels once looked like a missed opportunity for Democrats. The first-term Republican whose proposals on privatizing toll roads sent his approval rating plummeting nonetheless was riding high in polls over his Democratic challenger, ex-Rep. Jill Long Thompson. But a new poll suggests it could be Barack Obama who spells trouble for the Hoosier State GOP.

The poll, conducted by Selzer & Co. for the Indianapolis Star and WTHR-TV, tested 600 likely voters between 9/14-16 for a margin of error of +/- 4%. Daniels and Long Thompson were tested.

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Pollster Ann Selzer told the Star that the tight governor's race can be directly attributed to the fact that Barack Obama is staying competitive in what is ordinarily a deep red state.

"I would expect there to be some coattails, and the closeness of the race for governor we're showing probably represents some of that," Selzer told the Star.

The Selzer poll shows Daniels with a strong 56% job approval rating, in line with most other surveys that demonstrate the Republican is much better known than his Democratic opponent. Polls earlier this year have mostly showed Daniels with a big lead. The last public poll, conducted in late June, showed Daniels leading by fourteen points.